Clay Guida Agrees to Lightweight Pairing With Leonardo Santos at UFC on ESPN 31

By Jay Pettry Oct 21, 2021

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At a combined age over 80, this December Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight tilt will be among the eldest in divisional history.

On Wednesday, Clay Guida (36-21) announced on his Instagram that he would be taking on Leonardo Santos (18-4-1) at UFC on ESPN 31. The two longtime lightweights will toe the line on Dec. 4 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

“We’ve got a Veteran matchup December 4th on ESPN!!!” Guida wrote when posting a matchup image of he and his opponent. “Wrestling vs. JiuJitsu See ya in Vegas!!! The Best is yet to Come!!!”

Guida will be taking this match four days before his 40th birthday, and the 57-fight vet last competed in August where he fell short by split decision to Mark O. Madsen. “The Carpenter” will be entering into his 32nd UFC bout when he faces Santos, tying Diego Sanchez for the sixth-most in organizational history. Guida is one of less than 10 fighters in UFC history that has spent at least six hours inside of the Octagon.

The relative elder statesman Santos at 41 has fought less than half as frequently as his opponent, even though he made his pro debut a year earlier. Since joining the UFC in 2013, the Brazilian has only stepped in the cage nine times. Should this pairing stay intact, it will be the first time Santos has fought twice in a year since 2015, when he tapped Anthony Rocco Martin and then knocked out Kevin Lee. His last time out came in March, and Grant Dawson knocked him out with one second left on the clock, to record Santos’ first defeat since 2009 – ending an unbeaten streak of 13 appearances.

UFC on ESPN 31 goes down on Dec. 4 in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex, with a possible bantamweight title eliminator matchup pitting the surging Rob Font against ex-featherweight king Jose Aldo. The official bout order has not been released, but matchup likely to be placed high on the main card include a middleweight scrap between Brendan Allen and Brad Tavares, and a light heavyweight rumble between Jimmy Crute and Jamahal Hill.

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