After a rare weekend out of action last Saturday, the UFC returns to the cage this Saturday night with UFC Vegas 34 from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas. Barring any late postponements, it’ll be a 13-fight card this weekend, including the UFC Vegas 34 co-main event at lightweight between Clay Guida (36-20) and Mark Madsen (10-0).
UFC Vegas 34 Co-Main Fighter Comparison
Heading into UFC Vegas 34, Madsen is the taller man at 5-foot-8, with Guida standing 5-foot-7. Additionally, Madsen owns a two-inch arm reach advantage (72 inches to 70 inches) and a one-inch leg reach advantage (39 inches to 38 inches) over Guida.
Clay Guida in Career Twilight
Guida has posted a 2-3 record in his last five UFC appearances, entering UFC Vegas 34 having lost two out of his last three MMA bouts, winning most recently (unanimous decision) against Michael Johnson on Feb. 6 during UFC Vegas 18 at the APEX.
Saturday’s co-main event will be Guida’s 57th career MMA appearance, and time is catching up with him as he will turn 40 years of age before the end of this calendar year, so he’s already long in the tooth when it comes to mixed martial arts.
Moreover, Guida’s last sustained winning streak was a four-match streak between March of 2010 and June of 2011. Although Guida just recently signed a new four-fight contract with the UFC ahead of his fight at UFC Vegas 18 in February, this could be his last UFC contract.
Mark Madsen Makes the Most Out of Late Start to MMA Career
In the other corner, Madsen, a former silver-medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling during the 2016 Rio Summer Games, turned to MMA full-time upon his retirement from the former sport, having begun his MMA career just days after turning 29 years of age.
He’s more than made up for his lost time, winning all of his 10 fights thus far in this phase of his career as a combat athlete, most recently besting former LFA Lightweight Champion Austin Hubbard (unanimous decision) back in March of last year during UFC 248. During his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Madsen stated:
“I feel great. This is exactly why I’m in the UFC”, he said. “I want to be pushed. I want to fight the best MMA fighters out there. I just beat an LFA world champ. I’m grateful, and I’m happy.”
The interesting part about all of this is the fact that Madsen hasn’t peaked yet. Although Madsen may be an impressive fighter going into UFC Vegas 34, imagine how impressive he’s going to be when he peaks in his career. A win here will be another step toward the peak of Madsen’s career, and it could undoubtedly yield to ranked opposition in his next fight.
Analysis, Film Study and Prediction
Stylistically, this bout looks to favor Madsen, the silver-medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling, with Clay Guida subscribing to a boxing-wrestling hybrid.
Madsen Can Beat Opponents in a Variety of Different Ways
As he’s shown throughout his still-young MMA career, Mark Madsen is capable of mixing up his acumen to get the win– something he illustrated expertly in his 2019 fight against Danilo Belluardo in Copenhagen.
That night, Madsen immediately landed a takedown from the clinch and took off from there, smashing Belluardo with vicious, relentless elbow shots in his UFC promotional debut, finishing the fight in the first-round stoppage.
If Madsen can land a takedown and establish the top position, look out because it could be a short night at the office for him and a successful one at that.
Don’t Underestimate Clay Guida
However, Guida could win through stoppage, and winning would at least provide some help to his career trajectory. Guida’s most recent win by knockout happened vs. Joe Lauzon in 2017 during UFC Fight Night in Norfolk, VA.
That evening, he scored with a right-handed shot, stunning him in the process and immediately dropping him. From there, Guida scored with relentless shots from ground and pound to get the knockout victory inside the opening round.
If Guida can knock Madsen down, it could be all the leverage he needs to snatch the momentum on his side of the ledger and steal the victory in UFC Vegas 34 on Saturday night.
This fight has all the trappings of a contest that could be over in a hurry, as the first fighter to take or knock his opponent down could very well walk away from the UFC APEX facility, the victor. Expect competitive violence of the highest order here, and don’t even think about missing this co-main attraction during UFC Vegas 34 because you’ll be missing something incredible if you do.
Prediction: Mark Madsen by First-Round Knockout
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