Monday, March 30, 2009 | 5 p.m.
Beyond the Sun
Fans of the UFC’s reality TV show, “The Ultimate Fighter” have less than two days to wait before Season No. 9 (United States vs. United Kingdom) kicks off on Spike TV.
While fight fans will have to keep up with the entire season of the show before finding out which lightweights and welterweights will match up on June 20 to become the newest Ultimate Fighters, today the UFC announced that Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez and Clay “The Carpenter” Guida will headline the show’s finale at The Pearl at The Palms.
“Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida has the potential to be one of the most action packed fights of the year,” UFC President Dana White said.
“Both men have won multiple “Fight of the Night “awards and are two of the most aggressive grapplers in the division. Guida is coming off a big win over The Ultimate Fighter Season 5 winner Nate Diaz and Sanchez just defeated The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 winner Joe Stevenson. The winner of this fight will move into the upper portion of the lightweight rankings and get that much closer to a title shot.”
Indeed, both fighters are coming off three-match win streaks, including impressive victories in their last bouts as Sanchez (22-2 overall MMA record) handily defeated “The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 winner Stevenson at UFC 95 in his first-ever bout as a lightweight. Guida (25-6) had to sweat out an exciting split-decision victory over Diaz in a bout that won Fight of the Night honors at UFC 94 in January.
“Clay likes to push the pace and test a fighter’s conditioning, but so do I,” said Sanchez, a middleweight winner on the inaugural season of “TUF.” “Right now, I’m at the perfect weight and it’s the perfect time in my career to make a run at the title.
“I’ve already won a couple matches at the finales, so I’m feeling confident heading into this fight.”
Guida said he was equally stoked for a fight that he says has “the potential to be the fight of the year.”
“I couldn’t feel more confident about this fight right now in my career,” Guida said. “We’re both coming off three consecutive wins and we’re two of the most explosive lightweights in the division. … Vegas is where I do my best work.”