Who Loves No Love?
Ever since Rich "No Love" Clementi was featured on the fourth season of "The Ultimate Fighter" he has been making noise. You may not be able to hear it yet but give it enough time and it might be the loudest thing in the UFC lightweight division.
Clementi entered TUF4 as a welterweight and fought the colorful Shonie Carter in the season's first fight and lost a decision. He would then lose at the show's finale to Din Thomas, placing him at 0-2 in the UFC.
At first glance, Clementi is not the most menacing guy. He has an array of tattoos, but those are overshadowed by his wide, white, toothy smile and a voice that is a little on the nerdy side. He fights out of Louisiana with a faceless camp and a handful of fighters who hope to one day be faceless.
But whatever is in the water down in the bayou, other than mud and crayfish, it is working for Clementi who is riding a four fight win streak, notching up w's against the likes of rising KO specialist, Anthony Johnson, dangerous striker, Sam Stout, and the once highly-touted Melvin Guillard. While none of these are enough to earn Clementi a title fight or main event, they will certainly keep him moving up the ladder.
So where did it all turn around for Clementi? Was it when he covered up the goofy tattoo of a weight-lifting dog on his chest? Maybe, but it was most likely his move to 155 lbs. that kicked Rich's career into overdrive. At 5'9", lightweight allows "No Love" to enter fights more cut and in better shape than welterweight could ever allow him. Also, Clementi had average strength as a welterweight but as a lightweight his strength allows him to more easily apply chokes or armbars and earn submission victories, of which he has fifteen.
At thirty-two years old, Clementi has already paved his own path,fighting at three weight classes and for twenty different promotions, accumulating an overall record of 40-12-1, more wins than any UFC hall of famer, with the obvious exception of MMA's iron man, Dan "The Beast" Severn (70-13-7). No doubt "No Love" has been fighting far less imposing competition that these UFC legends but the point I am trying to make is that he has fought so many times and instead of slowly falling into obscurity, he is just now making a name for himself.
So what's next for Clementi? He just earned a unanimous decision victory over Terry Etim on UFC 84's under card, but what kind of fight would place him on live TV? Some might like to see him fight a young submission specialist the likes of Nate Diaz or a relentless attacker like Clay Guida to counter his excellent conditioning. Regardless of who is across the octagon from him, one thing is certain, they are going to get "No Love".
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