UFC lightweight Clay Guida is known for many things. His entertaining personality, his non-stop motor...his long, glorious, flowing locks of hair.
Unfortunately, following a complaint from his UFC on FX 4 opponent Gray Maynard, the hair will be going through a disappointing transformation prior to the bout.
Before anyone freaks out, the answer is "No"—he's not pulling a Urijah Faber and chopping it off. The caveman-like hair that fans have grown to love will instead be under containment with braids for the fight.
The decision to control the hair came after Maynard filed a complaint to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board in May. Rather than try to fight the action in a legal hearing, Guida will simply opt to comply with Maynard's request and focus on the fight itself.
"Clay chose to avoid any distractions and simply complied. Clay will be braiding his hair back. Clay is not focused on this and has one objective: winning. Nothing will distract him from his goal."
Under the Unified Rules of MMA, individual state athletic commissions are allowed to make a ruling on "whether head or facial hair presents any hazard to the safety of the unarmed combatant or his opponent or will interfere with the supervision and conduct of the contest or exhibition."
We often see this rule come into play with female fighters whose hair is typically as long as or longer than Guida's.
Nick Lembo, counsel for the NJSACB, told MMAjunkie.com:
"He doesn't want to do it, and I don't believe he's 100 percent happy about it, but he's being very understanding and very cooperative about it and he agreed to it. Otherwise, if he said, 'No, I'm not going to do that,' we'd have to have a hearing on it and let both sides present their case and have a commissioner's ruling on the issue."
Lembo explained that Maynard's complaint was that Guida's hair "could pose a distraction to their fighter…and that they thought it gave an unfair advantage to their opponent."
As disappointed as some fans may be by the decision to make the physical appearance alteration, there is little doubt that the bout itself between Guida and Maynard will be a great one.