Green (24-10-1 MMA, 5-5-1 UFC) and Guida (35-19 MMA, 15-13 UFC) were originally scheduled to fight in June 2018, but the matchup fell apart when Green withdrew from the card, and Guida went on to suffer a quick submission loss to replacement opponent Charles Oliveira.
The tension spilled over after the bout, though, when Guida called Green a “coward” for not fighting him and referred to him as “Bobby Yellow.” That didn’t sit well with Green, who fired back with some intense messages, including that Guida got “punk’d worse than CM Punk” in reference to the former WWE star who lost by decision on the same UFC 225 card.
Fast forward to present day, where the pair are finally scheduled to share the octagon at UFC on ESPN 11. Green, however, said he’s been forced to channel his emotions going into Saturday’s ESPN-televised card at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
“Yes and no,” Green told reporters, including MMA Junkie, when asked if things are personal with Guida during UFC on ESPN 11 virtual media day. “Because at the end it’s just business. It’s just business in the aspect that I’m going to beat you up no matter what, so I’m not worried about who said what, because at the end of the day you’ve got to come in and see me, and you’ve got to pay for what you said. I keep telling myself not to get too emotional with like, ‘Hey, what were you saying?’ Then you take (a punch).”
Green said his issues with Guida stem less from himself and more from his friend, Nate Diaz. There’s a history with Guida handing Diaz his first octagon defeat at UFC 94 in January 2009. The pair have had some run-ins since then, and Green said he doesn’t like how Guida has conducted himself.
“Nate (Diaz) is like a cousin to me,” Green said. “I used to live on Nate’s couch. He let me sleep on his couch for free for like two weeks while I trained with him and stuff. Nate and him got into it, so to me it’s like, ‘Ah, I’ll give him a one up for my dog, really.’ In that way it’s personal.”
For Green, UFC on ESPN 11 represents a critical moment in his career. He’s got just one victory in his past seven fights dating back to November 2014. All but one of those losses have been relatively competitive decisions, though, and Green intends to make some adjustments in his approach to ensure there’s a bigger gap.
“I can’t let these fights get close,” Green said. “I’m like a quarterback, and I’m making these calls and these decisions, and there’s a lot of risk in fighting. So, sometimes I tend not to take those risks because you can blow the whole opportunity. I played it safe thinking, ‘Oh, the judges will see, and the judges will know.’ They don’t know, and they don’t see, so maybe I’ll take more risks to show my true me. This fight you’re going to see a lot more flashy stuff. It’s going to be on.”