LAS VEGAS – One fighter is on the rise, the other is in the twilight of his career, and the way Claudio Puelles sees it, there’s no way he’s losing to Clay Guida.
Puelles, 25, meets 40-year-old former Strikeforce champion Guida on Saturday in the UFC Fight Night 205 co-main event at the UFC Apex. Puelles (11-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) will be looking to push his winning streak to five. And when the UFC called him with the opportunity to fight a Hall of Famer, Puelles immediately took the opportunity to try and beat what would be the biggest name of his young career in Guida.
“I just said straight yes. I didn’t hesitate,” Puelles said at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 205 media day. “He’s a tough guy, a tough veteran, but I’m the new generation. I’m here to stay. I’m here to climb the rankings. He’s already on his way down, about to retire or something.”
For Guida (37-21 MMA, 17-15 UFC), the bout with Puelles will mark the 59th of his professional career. Guida is 3-4 in his past seven fights and hasn’t strung together consecutive wins since 2017. But he was victorious in his most recent bout this past December, winning with an improbable rear-naked choke submission of Leonardo Santos.
It was a gutsy performance that Puelles surely took note of, but he doesn’t sound concerned heading into Saturday’s ESPN+-streamed bout.
“I call him a veteran. That means he has experience in this game,” Puelles said. “He knows what he’s doing. He knows how to take advantage of mistakes. The other guy he fought, he’s old too. He doesn’t fight regularly. I mean, he was getting beat, and the other guy gassed out. That’s not the case (with me).
“I’m fighting regularly, I’m young, I’m healthy, I have cardio for days, and I bring all these weapons to the table that I don’t think he’s going to like. I don’t even think he’s gonna try to take me down because he’s probably scared of being submitted.”