Yet despite his success, after close losses to Benson Henderson and Gray Maynard, Guida decided to make the move ten pounds south to featherweight, with his debut at 145 pounds set for January 26th in Chicago against Japan’s Hatsu Hioki.
“We fought the best in the lightweight division and got very close to the top,” he said. “We’ve had a couple of chances for a number one contendership or whatever you want to call it, and had some Fight of the Night bonuses and Fight of the Years. We’ve been all over the place and it’s been a fun road, and the road is gonna continue with more success at featherweight.”
This past June, Guida went five rounds with Maynard in a bout that ended with a controversial split decision going to “The Bully.” It wasn’t the first close decision Guida was on the wrong end of, but it was the one that pushed him and his team to consider a change of scenery.
“Looking at my record in the UFC, 9-7, it just doesn’t sit well, and I demand more out of myself and I know I can do better and always improve,” he said. “People see my fighting style, and if they’ve seen my fights, that record could be 15-1 just like that. I think there’s only really one fight that I went out there and it wasn’t even a close fight, and that was the Kenny Florian fight (in 2009), which helped change my career in a positive way. So looking at it as a whole and in the bigger picture of my career, after the Maynard fight I spoke with my brother (fellow fighter Jason Guida), who is a huge influence in my life and my career, and he said it might be that time to cut those extra pounds and get down to ’45 and start pushing people around and start knocking dudes out. He said ‘You had some close fights, you stunned Gray a few times and wobbled Ben, but we’ve gotta start finishing these guys.’ So I thought about that, and let it soak in for a while.”
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