Three Chicago-area fighters confirmed for UFC on FOX card at United Center
BY JOE FERNANDEZ firstname.lastname@example.org November 7, 2012 8:08PM
Round Lake product Clay Guida will be making his UFC featherweight debut at the United Center for UFC on FOX 6 on January 26, 2013.
Updated: December 9, 2012 7:40PM
Clay Guida visited the United Center Tuesday night as a fan.
The UFC fighter and Round Lake native watched as his hometown Bulls clipped the Magic in front of a modestly sized but surprisingly raucous home crowd.
“It was super loud [Tuesday] night,” Guida said. “I can only imagine when there are 20,000-plus people in here cheering on a bunch of local fighters.”
He’ll have to wait until only January to find out.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship will be heading back to Chicago for the sixth edition of UFC on FOX. The Sun-Times has confirmed that Guida, and two other Chicago-area fighters — Ricardo Lamas and Mike Russow — will be on the January 26 card at the United Center.
It will mark the first time since January that the UFC returns to the United Center and Chicago.
“Chicago is a great fight town and we’re excited to come back to the United Center on Jan. 26,” UFC President Dana White said via email to the Sun-Times. “This will be our first big event on FOX for 2013 and we’re lining up an incredible card. I can’t wait to get back to Chicago for this event and I’m pumped to go back to Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, too!”
Guida, a Johnsburg high school graduate and former wrestler at Harper College, will be making his featherweight debut against 26-5-2 Japanese fighter Hatsu Hioki.
“I’ve never had a problem making 155 [lbs],” the 30-year-old Guida said. “I wrestled at 149 in college, so all I’ll have to do is clean up a few things in my diet. I believe I present a tougher challenge for him than he does for me.”
As far as Guida’s Illinois brethren, Lamas (12-2), who won his first three UFC fights, will take on the well-versed Eric Koch in a match that could have featherweight title implications.
“I’m not even paying attention to that,” said the 30-year-old Lamas, who splits time living in North Miami and staying with his parents in Oak Brook. “My focus is 100 percent on Eric Koch. It’s been over three years since I fought in Illinois. I’m really excited for it.”
Russow, a Chicago police officer who was out serving the community at the time of this story, will be on the card as well and is facing 13-4 heavyweight Shawn Jordan. The 35-year-old Russow (15-2) won 11 consecutive fights before a June loss to Fabricio Werdum.
Headlining the card will be a UFC flyweight (125 lbs.) championship fight between title holder Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson. The UFC has also confirmed that a highly anticipated bout between former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and rising star Glover Teixeira will take place as well as a lightweight feature between Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone.
Tickets go on sale Nov. 30 at Ticketmaster.com — but please don’t ask the fighters.
“I get only a certain amount of tickets,” Lamas said.”
“I know all my family and friends will be there,” said a prideful Guida, who recently bought his perpetually supportive parents a home in Volo and is fighting in Illinois for the first time since 2005. “I need them. I love them. They’re the Guida Mafia. Plus, fighting where Michael [Jordan], Scottie [Pippen] and B.J. Armstrong won the world championships and looking up at the rafters on fight night to see those banners will be a tremendous experience.”