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After Respite, Elder Guida Rejuvenated From Jackson’s MMA Training

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Sometime near the end of 2010, Jason Guida decided to give it a rest. A professional mixed martial arts career that began in 2003 had fallen on hard times, and while Guida’s win-loss record had never been especially pretty, 10 defeats in 11 outings have a way of making a man reassess his lot in life.

“I put a bunch of losses together, had a bad streak,” said Guida, who suffered notable setbacks to Mike Russow, Bobby Lashley, Jeremy Horn and Jeff Monson during his slide. “I was getting a little bit sour, so I put it on the shelf for a little bit and went up to North Dakota and drilled in some oil fields, which was pretty interesting to say the least.”

While the money he earned working in the oil fields helped Guida (Pictured, File Photo) support his family, it did not arouse the same passion within that competing inside the cage did for the Illinois native. As he toiled in North Dakota, his younger brother, Clay Guida, was in the midst of one of the best runs of his own MMA career. By the time summer rolled around, Clay was a Top 10-level lightweight and a major factor in the UFC title picture. When Jason traveled to Las Vegas to corner his brother against Anthony Pettis at “The Ultimate Fighter 13” Finale in June, he felt the itch to fight again.

Since Clay had become a part of the Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts team, he had tried to persuade Jason to make the trek to Albuquerque to train. Finally in July, Jason was able to agree to his brother’s request.

“I had to get down here [to New Mexico]. It’s been a real sacrifice as far as family,” Jason said. “Not everybody is real thrilled that I’m down here doing this, but the money’s real good in the oil fields. It’s real easy money as far as I’m concerned. This is definitely not easy money down here; it’s tough to make a living here. I’m lucky to have help through my brother. He’s doing well as far as sponsors and big fights go. I’m kind of down here on him, and it’s working out, though. Winning solves everything, and I’m gonna keep plugging away.”

Based out of the Midwest Training Center, Jason says he has benefited from the level of competition he faces inside Jackson’s MMA on a daily basis.

“I’m having real good rounds in here; real good workouts. I feel like I’ve added a lot to my game as far as cardio and focus,” he said. “Every go in here is real hard. Back home, I’ve got a real tough gym and it’s hard to catch a break, but, here, there are no breaks whatsoever. I’m glad I’m down here; wish I could have gotten down here a few years back.”

Jason returned to the cage in October at light heavyweight, where he captured his first victory since October 2009 against Keith Richards. He says his next bout is set for Friday just outside of Dallas. While even Jason himself struggles to remember the name of the promotion he is about to fight for, the 34-year-old is well aware that continued success on the regional circuit could give him another shot at a larger card, perhaps by the middle of 2012 if things go well.

“I’d like to give Bellator [Fighting Championships] or Shark Fights a call. We’ve kind of been talking to Shark Fights a little bit,” Jason said. “I need to put some Ws together. Everyone knows that I’m a hell of a fight. If I’m training like I need to be training, it’s gonna be a long night for whoever steps in the cage with me.”

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