After his win at UFC Vegas 18, what’s next for Clay Guida?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 18, Clay Guida (36-20) took on Michael Johnson (19-17) on the main card. Guida hadn’t won a fight since his victory over BJ Penn that came back at UFC 237 in mid-2019.

He was carried a two-fight losing streak into UFC Vegas 18. Michael Johnson was also on a losing streak so both men desperately needed a victory on Saturday night. Well, on Saturday, Clay Guida did what Clay Guida does.

Michael Johnson found some early success with his speed and distance striking. However, Guida was able to land some big right hands in the first which allowed him to close the distance and start grappling with Johnson.

Guida is known for his pace and his smothering style. Both of those were on display at UFC Vegas 18. Guida imposed his will on Johnson and Johnson had no way to counter Guida’s attacks.

In the end, all three judges gave every round to Clay Guida. A fairly dominant performance when his back was against the wall. Now that he’s snapped his two-fight losing streak, what’s next for the UFC‘s Carpenter?

What’s next after UFC Vegas 18?

Clay Guida just turned 39 years old and he’s been fighting with the UFC since 2006. However, he’s showing no signs of stopping and no signs of slowing down. He made it clear after the fight that he wants another fight soon.

There are a couple of directions the UFC could go with Guida’s next fight. If they want to give him someone who is also coming off of a win, perhaps they could look at a fight between him and Mike Davis (9-2).

Davis just fought top prospect, Mason Jones, last month and got the win. The only two men to have defeated Davis are Gilbert Burns and Sodiq Yusuff. He’s won two in a row, and if the UFC would like to build him up, Guida would be a great test.

Another potential option could be David Teymur (8-2). This is more of a stretch, but Teymur was on his way to being a contender a couple of years ago. However, he’s been held outside of the octagon since February of 2019.

Teymur had an eight-fight win streak snapped by Charles Oliveira in his last fight. Perhaps the UFC reintroduces Teymur with Clay Guida. There are several options, but one thing we know for sure is that Guida will be down to fight anyone.

4 running backs the New York Giants could consider in free agency

New York Giants, Mike Davis

When New York Giants‘ star running back Saquon Barkley went down with a torn ACL in Week 2, reserve back, Wayne Gallman was forced to take a larger role. This was after Devonta Freeman was signed off the street and picked up a few injuries that held him out for the remainder of the season.

For the most part, the Wayne Train took a few games to get going, but when he was on, he was on. Gallman had some help from Morris as well, but the former Clemson star was the lead back when Barkley and Freeman went down with injuries. They ripped off eight 100-yard performances over the next nine games. They even put together a four-game winning streak.

The Giants know now, Barkley is not immortal. They need to get more of a solid plan at the running back. Gallman, Morris, and Lewis are free agents come in March, and the Giants will be seeking some veteran running back help behind Barkley this offseason.

Here are four veterans the New York Giants should consider signing this offseason:

Mike Davis

With the Carolina Panthers’ star running back Christian McCaffrey dealing with injuries this past season, Mike Davis was the top back for Carolina this past season. The 27-year-old is a versatile back who can catch passes out of the backfield as well as running through the tackles. Davis ran for 642 yards and had 373 receiving yards on 59 catches. Davis could be a solid and cheap running back for Barkley next season.

Jamaal Williams

The Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams is strictly a complimentary back to Aaron Jones, that is exactly what the Giants need for Barkley. Williams is a reliable runner, averaging 4.2 yards per carry on the ground. He could also be used in the passing game as well if needed. With Green Bay drafting A.J Dillon in the second-round this past draft, they will have to part ways with Williams this offseason.

James White

Logan Ryan did he say he would try to recruit players to New York — could James White be one of them? White has been a productive back, through the air or on the ground. White would be the perfect third-down back and compliment Barkley really well. White could help New York in the red zone for the fact he is an excellent receiver. He would be a fine addition for whatever team he chooses to play for next season.

Malcolm Brown

Malcolm Brown reminds me of Jamaal Williams, a complimentary back to Cam Akers. Brown is a very effective runner through the tackles. This past season, he became more effective through the air, which he has not been through the years. That will expand his value this offseason, with teams knowing he can be used in the passing game.

 

2021 UFC Breakthrough Candidates

UFC, Dana White

This past year, the UFC has seen a few fighters come out of no where and become household names. The two names that stick out the most are Kevin Holland (21-5) and Khamzat Chimaev (9-0).

Holland was already with the UFC when the year got started. However, Holland was just 3-2 in his first five fights. He came into 2020 coming off of a submission loss to Brendan Allen, but he showed in 2020 how special he could be.

Holland went a perfect 5-0 in 2020 with four finishes including one over Jacare Souza at UFC 256. Kevin Holland was a very popular pick for fighter of the year and he was our breakout fighter of the year.

Nobody really knew who Khamzat Chimaev was when 2020 started. There was some hype surrounding him in the Middle East, but to the mainstream public, nobody really knew who he was.

Chimaev made his UFC debut on Fight Island in July. He ended up fighting twice in ten days scoring two finishes in extremely dominant fashion. Chimaev followed those performances up with a knockout over Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds in September.

Khamzat Chimaev has gone from unknown to a superstar in just a few months. He was supposed to face Leon Edwards in January, but that fight has been pushed back due to Chimaev’s recovery since coming down with COVID-19.

2021 UFC Breakthrough Prospects

The mixed martial arts world and even the mainstream public knows Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland after 2020. So who are some candidates for breakthrough fighters in the UFC as we enter 2021?

One of the guys I have my eyes on is bantamweight, Jack Shore (13-0). The bantamweight from Wales has fought twice in the UFC and he’s scored two submissions wins. Out of his 13 professional wins, only one has gone to the scorecards.

He last fought back in July on Fight Island. That night, Shore took on Aaron Phillips and he used his superior grappling to dominate the fight. Shore has all the makings for a contender who can breakthrough for the UFC in 2021.

The next guy I have my eyes on is another fighter from Wales. This one is the two-division Cage Warriors champion, Mason Jones (10-0). Jones is scheduled to make his UFC debut on January 20th against Mike Davis (8-2).

There is a lot of hype surrounding Mason Jones. The last two-division Cage Warriors champion to breakthrough in UFC is Conor McGregor. Thus, you can see why a lot of people are interested in this young man.

Jones is just 25 years old, but he is incredibly talented. The UFC is not giving him a layup in his first fight however. Mike Davis is a very tough opponent who’s only two losses have come to Gilbert Burns and Sodiq Yusuff.

Ranked Fighters to Watch

While Jones and Shore are my two prospects that I’m watching, there are a couple of more established fighters I have my eyes on as we enter 2021. One of those fighters being Jimmy Crute (12-1).

The Australian light heavyweight is currently ranked 12th in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. He has dynamite in his hands and he’s very good on the ground. He bounced back from his first loss in 2019 to score two first round finishes in 2020.

Crute is just 24 years old and looks incredibly gifted. I would not be shocked to see Crute inching towards the top five once 2021 is over. The other fighter I have my eyes on is Diego Ferreira (17-2).

Okay, I’ll admit it, Ferreira is 35 years old and he’s been with the UFC for a long time. He doesn’t really fit in with the other three fighters I’ve listed so far. However, I have him on this list for a reason.

Ferreira is a guy that seems to get lost when folks talk about the lightweight division. The most exciting division in the sport is incredibly stacked. It’s so stacked that people forget that Ferreira is on a six-fight winning streak in the UFC.

He last fought in January and submitted Anthony Pettis in the second round. Ferreira is taking on Beneil Dariush (19-4-1) in February where he will look to avenge his first career loss. Outside of Dariush, the only man to defeat Ferreira inside the octagon is Dustin Poirier.

These are four fighters that I truly believe can establish themselves in the UFC this year. When I say establish, I mean become household names to not just the MMA world, but the general public. Keep your eyes on these fighters in 2021.