At 40, On Final Fight of His Current Deal, “The Best is Yet to Come” for UFC Vegas 52’s Clay Guida

At age 40, Clay Guida is entering UFC Vegas 52 off a Performance of the Night-winning victory against Leandro Santos back in December.

Now, he’s paired up with another young up-and-comer, Claudio Puelles, fourteen years Guida’s junior. It’s a big fight for Guida — especially because it’s the last fight on his current UFC deal.

“A lot of people don’t know this, it’s contract time. This is the last fight of a four-fight deal,” Guida (37-21) revealed during the UFC Vegas 52 media day this week. “There’s no pressure on me, but I want to prove to Dana White, to Sean Shelby, to the rest of the UFC world, the fans, that I’m here to stay. That I’m getting better at forty.” And, like his coach likes to say, “the best is yet to come.”

The time that has passed since he began his stint with the UFC is not lost on the lightweight. “We’re coming up on, it’s crazy to say, almost sixteen years. In 2006, UFC 64, October 14, it’s a date that will stand out in my head forever. It’s wild to believe and think that we’re still plugging away, better than ever.”

Fight week has become more fun over time, and Guida is glad to be able to “wander around Vegas a little bit” with coronavirus pandemic restrictions being eased. “We’re not held captive at the host hotel. So it’s great to get things back to normal, and this fight is going to be like back in the day. You’re gonna see the old school caveman, carpenter dude out there, swinging the hammers and bringing home the victory.”

Wrestling has always been Guida’s bread and butter, and asked about which was more important for him to represent, wrestling or the UFC, “The Carpenter” replied “Both.”

“To me they go hand-in-hand. Wrestling is what got me to the UFC, and UFC has been my home for fifteen plus years. And wrestling is what kept it here. It built me, it helped give me confidence, it helped me as a competitor in other sports too. Wrestling helped me in baseball, it helped in football, it helped me socially, it helped me in business and family and things like that.”

Watch the full UFC Vegas 52 media day scrum with Clay Guida above. More coverage from the event can be found below.