Relentless Attacks: Clay Guida and the Top 10 UFC Fighters with Limitless Cardio
Clay Guida is currently preparing for the biggest fight of his career.
Clay has been with the UFC for a long time now and is currently riding a three fight win streak.
As a result of his recent success, Guida has earned himself a shot at former WEC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis.
Pettis is a more technically skilled fighter than Guida so, if Clay wants to pull off a win here, he's going to have to fight this fight his way.
Luckily, making other fighters fight his fight is something that Guida is very good at doing.
Clay fights at a relentless pace, sticks on his opponents and wears them down. The reason he's able to utilize this strategy so effectively is Clay has a seemingly endless gas tank.
Cardio is an important thing for any fighter. Frequently we fighters defeating more technically skilled opponents because they are able to outwork them.
With that in mind, let's take a look the top 10 fighters in the UFC with limitless cardio...
Nick Diaz: He isn't in the UFC yet, but it looks like he will be soon. If Diaz does get signed, he will be on this list. Dude does triathlons just for fun.
Matt Hughes: Hughes is a farm boy. He's been working hard his whole life and that work ethic carries over to his training. Matt may not be the most relevant guy at welterweight right now, but it's very rare that you see him tired in a fight.
Miguel Torres: He fights at furious pace and he's one of the most exciting fighters to cross over from the WEC. Torres has proved that he can go five rounds and still look good.
Jose Aldo: I would have had him on this list if it weren't for the fight with Hominick at UFC 129. Aldo gassed in the fifth round of that fight. Jose has good cardio, but there's no doubt in my mind that everyone in the top 10 could go five rounds without gassing.
B.J. Penn: If Penn could stay in shape consistently, he could be on this list. In his fights against Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez, B.J. beat them down into the championship rounds and looked fresh. It's performances like his fight against Jon Fitch that keep him off this list.
Tito Ortiz: Tito Ortiz lost to Frank Shamrock in 1999 because he gassed and after that became a cardio freak. He's declined recently, looking tired in fights against Forrest Griffin and Matt Hamill, but in his prime Tito would be near the top of this list.
No. 10: Cain Velasquez
Cain Velasquez could very easily be in the top four on this list, after a couple more fights.
Everyone knows Cain Velasquez has incredible cardio, the issue is we never really see it in fights. Other than his fight with Cheick Kongo, he has never gone decision. He looked pretty fresh after the third round with Kongo, but one three-round decision doesn't prove much.
Cain's training partners and coaches always go on about what a hard worker he is, how he's the last guy in the gym everyday and how they keep feeding him fresh fighters and he makes them all look bad.
I don't doubt any of the things they say, I just need to see it in a fight and not in training.
No. 9: Diego Sanchez
Diego "Nightmare" Sanchez isn't a fighter; he's a warrior.
This guy treats the Octagon like a battle ground.
I've never been a huge fan of the guy, but I can't deny he comes out every fight and fights his heart out.
Sanchez fights at a furious pace and if often able to overwhelm his opponents because of it.
He showed remarkable resolve in his championship fight with B.J. Penn. Diego was dominated the entire fight, but never gave up and never looked tired. He came out in the fifth round looking just as angry and fired up as he did in the first.
No. 8: Jon Fitch
Jon Fitch is known as a grinder.
Fitch is not a natural athlete. He is able to compete at the level he does because he works insanely hard.
When he gets inside the Octagon he forces his opponents to work just as hard as he does and that's why at the end of most of his fights you'll see Jon Fitch barely breathing heavy and his opponents completely exhausted.
Jon proved he could go five rounds when he fought for the welterweight belt in 2008 against current champ Georges St-Pierre.
I was really impressed with Fitch's cardio in that fight because it's been documented that fighters gas quicker when they're being dominated. That's why Brock Lesnar was able to go three rounds with Heath Herring easily and was totally gassed after one round with Velasquez.
No. 7: Sean Sherk
Sean Sherk is often described as a cardio freak.
In his prime, he would be number one or two on this list.
Unfortunately, it seems as though Sherk is in the twilight of his career. It's been years since we've seen him put on a dominant performance.
Sherk's cardio still looks good when he fights, but it seems like he's on the decline.
Don't feel bad for him, though. He is 37 years old and had a long career.
No. 6: Urijah Faber
Urijah Faber is arguably the most dominant featherweight in MMA history.
Faber has shown on multiple occasions that he go five rounds; he's done it three times in his career.
In his fight with Jose Aldo he stuck in it until the end, despite being badly beaten.
I was worried that when Faber dropped down to bantamweight he might sacrifice some of his cardio, but he looked great in his first bantamweight fight against Eddie Wineland.
No. 5: Forrest Griffin
Forrest Griffin reminds me of Jon Fitch.
Griffin is often in more entertaining fights than Fitch, but the two are similar in as much as they're not extremely talented, naturally. They're just very hard workers.
Forrest is one those guys you hear about who practically lives in the gym.
He never seems tired after fights. After losing to Tito Ortiz, Forrest told Joe Rogan, "I feel good enough to go another two."
Griffin showed us later in his career that he could go that extra two when he took the light heavyweight belt from Quinton Jackson via unanimous decision.
No. 4: Clay Guida
Clay Guida is the Energizer Bunny of mixed martial arts; this guy goes and goes and goes.
From bell to bell this guy presses forward and pushes the pace. He never tires and frustrates his opponents with his relentlessness.
The amount of energy he expends on the way to the Octagon is more than most fighters expend in a whole fight (that's probably no true).
We haven't seen if Guida can keep up his pace for five rounds, but we may know soon enough.
If Clay defeats Anthony Pettis in June, he'll become the number one contender in the lightweight division.
No. 3: Dominick Cruz
Dominick Cruz makes going five rounds look easy.
His passed two fights have gone five rounds and at the final bell he looked like he was still warming up.
Cruz is set to defend his bantamweight belt for the first time, in the UFC, against Urijah Faber at UFC 132. It should be a hell of a fight. Both guys are exciting fighters and both never seem to tire.
Cruz vs Faber is one of my picks for Fight of the Year.
No. 2: Georges St-Pierre
I'll keep this short.
Georges St-Pierre has gone five rounds five times in his career.
He dominated every fight and always looks pretty fresh at the end.
No. 1: Frankie Edgar
Frankie Edgar is a cardio machine.
Watching him makes me tired.
He has the quickest footwork in the lightweight division.
When I watched his first fight with B.J. Penn, I wasn't that familiar with Edgar. I saw how fast he was moving in the first round and thought there was no way he could keep it up for the whole fight. It seemed impossible.
But he did it.
Frankie Edgar moves faster than anyone in his division, maybe in all of the UFC, and he can do it for five rounds and not even look tired.