UFC Newark: Clay Guida Calls Jim Miller “One of the Good Guys” in MMA

Clay Guida and Jim Miller are two old warriors in the UFC, who somehow have never crossed paths. That will change this weekend at UFC Newark, however.

Newark, NJ — Clay Guida’s energy is not confined to the octagon alone. At Wednesday’s open workouts ahead of UFC Newark this weekend, ‘The Carpenter’ was his usual, boisterous self, happy to interact with fans, the media, and even bringing a few onlookers out of stage to work out with him.

That’s the kind of athlete Guida (35-18) is. He’s been around a long time, ready for anything, and loves giving back to the fans, he told Cageside Press during a media scrum following his workout.

“That’s what it’s all about. I was telling my coach, I don’t care if there’s one kid out there, if there’s one adult out there, the fact that they probably sat in traffic and drove out here, on a Wednesday afternoon, Wednesday evening, to come out and support us, that’s what it’s all about.”

It was a particularly dark and rainy Wednesday afternoon at that. One which included a flood warning, just prior to the open workouts getting going. The rain didn’t dampen the spirits of those who did turn out, however. And Guida clearly appreciated that.

“It’s about putting yourself out there for the fans, because they’re the ones that are screaming, they’re the ones that are spending their hard-earned money on the PPVs, on all these fights,” Clay told us. “That’s why I fight, I fight for the fans.”

UFC Newark is a bit of an odd duck in terms of UFC cards, kicking off early, the main card starting at 3PM. The early start time, however, doesn’t change much for Clay Guida, who told reporters that “we train all day long.”

“All those guys at Team Alpha Male get us ready to fight any time of the day. Because that’s what the fight game is all about, you’ve got to be ready at the drop of a hat to perform,” he explained. “Especially going into the lion’s den. We’re coming into Jim Miller’s home state. It’ll probably be the first time we get some boos in the crowd. But I bet by the end of the fight, everyone’s standing cheering for more from both of us.”

“Jim’s one of the hometown guys, he’s one of those heroes out there too in the sport of mixed martial arts,” Guida added. “So I’m looking forward to a great fight whatever time it is.”

Much like the fight itself, the earlier time won’t change much for Guida’s weight cut, such as it is. “Since I’m the smallest lightweight in the division, I don’t even cut weight. I was 3lbs over, 4lbs over today. So I’m ready to go. I could go jump on the scale tonight if we had to.”

The match-up with Jim Miller, another veteran, has been a long time coming, however. “Better late than never” is how Guida put it. The pair have 61 pro fights between them. And as Guida pointed out, “[Miller] hasn’t been fighting sea-level fighters. The guy’s been fighting the top dogs in the division for over a decade. There’s a lot to be said for that. The fans are going to get what they deserve. Long time coming.”

The pair have a common interest in the outdoors — for Guida, it’s fishing, while with Miller it’s hunting. It’s something he could see bonding over in future. “Jim’s always been one of the good guys in the sport, and the outdoors brings people together. Would love to get out on the boat with him, maybe he can show me how to hold a rifle someday. Shoot some stuff. I’m down for that too.”

First, however, comes their lightweight scrap Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

Watch the full UFC Newark open workout scrum with Clay Guida above!