Maybe you know Clay Guida as at the wild-haired guy who belches between rounds and drives an RV. A few weeks ago, however, we found out he's been wheeling around in an '86 Chevy Blazer, a fact that came to light after Guida's own misfortune: during a training sojourn ahead of his UFC Fight Night 77 match-up with Thiago Tavares, the truck—topped with a stand-up paddleboard and a kayak—got swiped off the streets of Sacramento.
There are few pre-fight distractions that beat losing your wheels. Fightland spoke with the UFC featherweight about how the truck went missing, packing swords and throwing stars to go hunt for the thieves, how the bandits even took his Bob Marley headphones—those savages—and the Good Samaritan who helped him out.
Fightland: So getting your truck stolen in the middle of camp: where does that rank in terms of greatest distractions?
Clay Guida: I guess I'd have to say that takes the cake so far. I haven’t had anything like that happen before.
Tell me about the truck in question. Broncos are kind of going through a renaissance right now, but you have an '86 Chevy Blazer—why that car?
It's just a super-cool old baby blue Blazer, man. The thing is a gem. It's in great shape, almost mint condition—they're hard to find, and it's rare for them to be in that good of a shape. I found it online and it was shipped to me—an Army veteran, real nice guy, took some time out of his week and drove it up to me. I've only had it for a year and I've only put about two or three thousand miles on it, so it's not like I've had it forever. I was hoping to get more miles on it. It's all good. I'm just happy we recovered it.
You were out in Sacramento training with Team Alpha Male for a bit when it was stolen. Take me back to the moment when you realized it was missing.
I parked in front of [Urijah] Faber's house one night—I'd just got done kayaking and paddleboarding out on Lake Natoma. We watched the fights, the Barnett and Roy Nelson main event, at his new place and I ended up just crashing on his couch. I woke up and wanted to go for a jog in the morning, so I was gonna go get my running shoes, and I looked out the window and noticed my truck wasn’t there.
It's a very nice neighborhood—they call the neighborhood the Fabulous Forties—and they say it's one of the nicest places in Sacramento. The houses are on a whole 'nother level. I thought maybe it got towed, so I hit up Faber and said, "Is this a no-parking area?" [He said] "No, man." "My truck's not here." "You're kidding me." He thought I was joking, and I thought maybe he took my keys in the middle of the night and parked it out back or down the street to mess with me. We were both stumped, man. We went around and talked to the neighbors, and they mentioned there had been several break-ins in the neighborhood. They have something to lose, I guess.
Did you file a police report after you talked to the neighbors?
I got a hold of the police, but they weren’t able to get a report until later because I didn’t know the license plate number. It's not my everyday vehicle—it's my training camp truck, basically. Of course, it happened on a Sunday, so I couldn’t get a hold of the DMV. We ended up just putting stuff out on social media, the UFC helped out and gave us some love. There's an app called Next Door—it's basically a nationwide neighborhood watch app—and we put it on there. We didn’t hear anything for a day or so, so we were just kind of chalking it up like the thing was gone, like the guys saw the kayak and the paddleboard and they didn’t know how to take 'em down, or walking 'em down the street at night would've looked a little suspicious so they decided to take the whole truck instead.
I noticed a picture on your Instagram of you guys grabbing nunchucks and stuff.
Yeah, we took the proper procedures. On that Monday night, me and Faber, his brother, and my buddy Chris got our weaponry together for more of a laugh. We got our bo staffs, our William Wallace swords and nunchucks and Chinese stars, our clubs, all that, and we went cruising around the not-so-nice areas in Sacramento: looking in alleys, parking lots, vacant businesses and things like that. To no avail.
Wednesday rolled around and I was on my pedal bike on the way back from the gym, and my buddy called me. "Dude, you got your keys on you?" I thought maybe he was calling me to get lunch or something. "They found your truck." I almost drove into traffic on the bike. It was literally three blocks away from Faber's house, parked in an alley behind a medical building. It was crazy, just in a little no-parking zone. I imagine it would have gotten towed eventually and reported, but there just wasn’t enough time. This nice girl on the Next Door app came to fruition, she e-mailed my buddy and the police showed up, and they had it towed away.
What was the damage done when you came upon it? I know they ripped out the tape deck, which is kind of amazing, and stole your Creedence tapes.
They took Ol' Duder's toys: they took the paddleboard, they took the kayak. And they just did a clean sweep of everything inside. We're talking backpacks, training gear, life vests for the kayaks and stuff. They took my toolbox. I mean, they went through the entire armrest: they took my deodorant, my mouthwash, my vitamins and supplements, the title to the car. My money clip was in there, driver's license and ID and everything—that was my fault for leaving that stuff in there. They took Old Duder's CD collection. They busted up the steering column to hotwire it, and they stole my stereo. The only thing they left was the yoga mat. They knew Dude had to get his yoga in, evidently.
Other than that, they didn’t do any damage to it. The thing ran fine—I started it right up. They didn’t try to chop it for parts or anything, so that was cool.
Are you driving it now?
Not yet, it's still being repaired.
You seem in remarkably good spirits, all things considered.
It's all good. We're definitely in good spirits that we found [the truck]. It just shows that people are willing to be helpful. I think those guys just wanted the toys, took it for a joy ride, took it to their house to drop off the toys, then just put it near where they found it, and had a little fun with it and found some goodies inside. They also took my Bob Marley headphones. I forgot about those—those things were awesome.
Wait, Bob Marley headphones?
Marley's family or whoever has their own line of headphones now. It's pretty sweet, man. They were little ear buds, but I was looking to replace them at the airport the other day, and they've got eight or ten different styles of headphones now. They weren’t the super-expensive ones, but I dug 'em. And they're gone.
Lastly, you're a Chicago boy: what'd you do after you found about the Cubs winning the series?
I was watching it, man. I was hanging on every single pitch. We were brought up as Cubbies fans—my dad and mom lived a couple miles from Wrigley Field. I'm at a loss for words. I didn’t think I'd see anything like this for another couple of decades. Your first question about having a distraction with the truck being stolen: seeing the Cubbies be on such a roll right now kind of counteracts that.
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