In Featherweight action at UFC 164, Chad Mendes (14-1 MMA; 5-1 UFC) faces Clay Guida (30-13 MMA; 10-7 UFC). The official UFC rankings have Mendes as the #1 contender at Featherweight; Guida at #9. UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis airs live on PPV this Saturday, August 31 with the main card starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
This Featherweight fight features two very similar fighters. Both Guida and Mendes have been close to the top, but never made it to UFC title status. Both started with wrestling as their main base, but have since developed improved striking games. And both typically use their cardio to grind opponents down. It will be interesting to see how each responds to facing his doppelganger - for the winner, a title shot could be not far away.
How do these two stack up?
Mendes: 28 years old | 5'6" | 66" reach
Guida: 31 years old | 5'7" | 69" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Chad Mendes trains out of Team Alpha Male, alongside Urijah Faber among others. He's had a great run in both the WEC and UFC. He had a shot at Jose Aldo last year, though it didn't go well for Mendes. Since then, he's a perfect 3-0, all via stoppage in less than 2 minutes. Clearly, the addition of Duane Ludwig to the Alpha Male camp has meant a huge improvement in striking - that may be the difference maker for Mendes here.
Clay Guida has been close to the top of the UFC for some time, first in the Lightweight division, and now at Featherweight. He's 1-0 since making the drop down to 145, though that 1 win was a very controversial split decision victory over Hioki that many felt Guida lost. Since moving to the Greg Jackson camp, Guida has made adjustments to his style that have turned off a lot of fans - but it's certainly helped him in the eyes of the judges. Once a real fan favorite, Guida has become rather hated by many hardcore fans, which is a shame. We'll see what kind of performance he puts on here.
Why should you care?
Two very good, very evenly matched fighters in a fight where the winner moves into title contention. That's a pretty good reason to care.