January 18, 2013

By Keith Gothard

Photo by Wilson Fox


As the days pass over this chilly January in Chicago, there's not much for most of us to look forward to in Illinois this time of year besides spring. This year though is different, well at least for the thousands of MMA fans here in the Chicagoland area it is. In less than two weeks our hometown MMA hero, our Carpenter, our long haired “Dude” returns home.


Yes, my chilly friends, VFD Sports fighter and Illinois native Clay ‘The Carpenter’ Guida returns to action live in front of thousands of fans at Chicago's United Center, January 26th for the UFC on FOX 6 card against Hatsu Hioki. Now, if Clay fighting in his own back yard and at a new weight class doesn't excite you, then I have a few other stats for you to pay attention to during his fight.

Let's start with this. Take a look at the chart below, and notice where Clay is listed at. These are the official times that UFC fighters have fought inside of a UFC Octagon:



If Clay's match next week goes for over 9 minutes and 14 seconds he would be placed in the UFC top 10 for most minutes fought in an Octagon. Doing so he would pass two great names in Rashad Evans and Chris Lytle.  Also, it's nice to see if Clay's match were to go to a decision he would also pass Josh Koscheck and Diego Sanchez to settle in at the number 8 spot. Now, here is the kicker to this whole stat: if Clay passes Chris Lytle then he will officially have fought for a longer time than anyone in UFC history without ever getting a title shot. Yep, everyone on the list above him has either been a UFC Champion or have had a UFC Championship fight in his career. Through hard work though, I am 100 percent sure Clay will earn a title shot at 145 lbs in the future.


Here's another unique thing to watch for in this fight. Take a look at the chart below:   



This is the all time leaders in UFC history for take downs over a career. If Clay were to get 3 more take downs that would put his career total at 51, which would move him past Rashad Evans (48) and Sean Sherk (50) placing Clay in the top 5 in UFC history. I know as a wrestler from Illinois, Clay is very proud of this stat and very proud to be considered one of the best at doing it.

Finally, I have one last thing for all to watch out for. If Clay were to walk out of the octagon a winner, he would be 1 of only 20 fighters currently on the UFC's 400 fighter roster to have 30 or more pro career wins. Clay sits at 29 wins right now tied with such names as Rich Franklin, Dan Henderson, Yushi Okami and a few others. Once you look at the list of fighters with 30 or more wins, it puts Clay's place in MMA history into a better perspective. Here's just a few names and win totals for you: Anderson Silva (33), Wanderlei Silva (34), Alistair Overeem (36), Minotauro Nogueria (34), Rampage Jackson (32) and Sean Sherk (38).  Pretty impressive list of names right? A win next Saturday would put Clay in the top 5% of all UFC fighters for career wins.

So, in conclusion, you can clearly see with a hard working performance in less than 10 days at UFC on FOX 6, Clay can move himself up in the history books and their statistical records. Even with 30 total wins, 51 take downs, and hours of fighting could prove less important than just 1 plain single victory on the 26th that could kick start a great journey at 145 lbs for Clay and all of us fans for a long time to come.


Keith Gothard is the Director of Social Media for VFD Sports Marketing.  In addition to being a MMA & statistics junkie, he is the proud father of two future UFC champions, Damyen & Apollo.