Clay Guida has utilized the same style to earn more than 30 MMA wins: hard-nosed, in-your-face wrestling. It isn't always pretty -- OK, it rarely is -- but there's no doubting its effectiveness. Guida owns wins over the last two UFC lightweight champions: Anthony Pettis and Rafael dos Anjos.
There's a double-edged sword with wrestling, though. It's not the most exciting aspects of MMA. There's a reason why guys like Ben Askren are not in the UFC.
Guida, for one, is sick of it. He is upset by fans who boo good wrestlers in MMA, because they feel like the style is boring.
"I guess being an exciting wrestler helps, but it all starts with the oldest sport that we almost lost a couple of years ago [from the Olympics]," Guida said Saturday in a post-fight press conference after a win over Robbie Peralta. "So, shame on those fans. I hope they get more educated."
Guida used his wrestling once again to earn himself a unanimous decision victory over Peralta at UFC Fight Night: Mendes vs. Lamas on Saturday in Fairfax, Va. It happened to be a card headlined by a pair of strong wrestlers -- Chad Mendes and Ricardo Lamas -- too.
"I got a message for those fans," Guida said. "Without wrestling, mixed martial arts would not be a sport. ... Without wrestling, it would not be here. Without jiu-jitsu, there would be no mixed martial arts."
Some fans boo wrestling, but the ones in Fairfax appreciated Guida. There were loud chants of his name throughout the fight -- which was far from the most exciting of the afternoon.
Guida (32-15) has always been a fan favorite and perennially near the top of both the lightweight and featherweight divisions. He told Jon Anik after beating Peralta that he wanted fights in both divisions moving forward.
"The Carpenter," who changed his camp from Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA to Glendale Fighting Club and Team Alpha Male before this fight, has won two of three at 145. He is 3-2 since moving down after a long, successful run at lightweight. Guida, 33, has compiled a 12-9 record in his UFC career.
And, really, he owes most of that to one thing: wrestling. Guida was a star wrestler at Harper College and has carried it over to stalwart MMA career.
"It's not the most exciting all the time," Guida said of wrestling. "My fights are very sloppy, not very technical by any means. But we're always on the gas pedal. We're always on the throttle."