The Half-Guarded Truth
By: Mike Coughlin
Guida and Pettis
Clay Guida is a mad man. He is a battery of plutonium in a sport of AA energizers. He flights like a tornado, only stopping to throw the occasional mailbox at someone's head. He moves inside the locked steel cage like he's part of some naked orgy of violence and hair that's happening five thousand years ago in the shadow of a great wooly mammoth carcass. His crooked grin is one forged by driving around the country in a winnebago stopping to train wherever and with whomever.
Anthony Pettis did the greatest thing ever. He ran up the side of a cage, jumped high in the air, and kicked a man in the head. That move won him a fight, it won him a title, and it forever secured him a place in the history of the sport of MMA. No matter what he does in life, no matter if he ends up broke and ignored by his friends and family or disgraced or just fades into time with the rest of us, Pettis can sleep every night knowing that he has done what few men in life will do - he has become a memory that will last forever.
Pettis was told that his Kick had earned him a shot at the lightweight belt, but that pesky draw between Edgar and Maynard put that on hold. He could have waited, but young men with anger in their veins want to fight, so instead he chose to risk his title shot and fight the crazed caveman Guida.
No one promised Guida anything. He's simply been told to go fight and so he has. For too long he's been the one who made The Next Star look good. Guida had some of the greatest fights you'll ever see in fighting Tyson Griffin, Roger Huerta, and Diego Sanchez. For his part, Pettis helped define the WEC with his memorable fights against Shane Roller and Ben Henderson. The difference is not in who had the more entertaining fights - wise men and fools will pointlessly argue that on a later date - but rather that Guida lost and Pettis won. With his ESPN Top Play Kick shining atop his CV, Pettis is now The Next Star expected to fight Guida and raise his stock. Some men might feel insulted by this, angered that they're seen by many as nothing but a gatekeeper. One doubts Guida cares. Madmen never care.
Despite former WEC Champion Ben Henderson's recent UFC victory, despite former WEC title challenger Donald Cerrone's recent UFC win, and despite WEC veteran Shane Roller's recent stunning KO "W" in the UFC, the talk of how WEC lightweights "aren't on the level" of UFC lightweights continues in some circles. As the WEC's last champion, the duty to carry the imaginary flag of a dead promotion falls to Pettis. A loss fuels the fire of doubt; a win staves off the flames just a little longer.
Tonight, Guida and Pettis fight. They fight for title shots and for future fights and for pride. They fight because a matchmaker thought it would be entertaining. They fight because it is their job. They fight because the gods demand it. Aw, hell they fight because what else have they got to do on a Saturday night?
It. Will. Be. Great.
Mike Coughlin is the madman host of FIVE STAR RADIO. He isn't that great.