Clay Guida looks a lot like Blanka from Street Fighter. Until last year, he was the only guy in the MMA who fit that description, but now there’s Jonathan Brookins and Ben Askren – both of whom are Blankas-in-training. Guida’s swagger clearly inspires people to let their hair down and be the best Blanka they can be. As a fan of old school video games, that’s a message I can get behind. Unfortunately, the New Jersey State Athletic Commission hates Blanka, Ryu, Dhalsim, E. Honda, Guile, Ken, Chun-Li, and Zangief. They have decided that any fighter who resembles them must alter their appearance before competing in the state of New Jersey. Clay Guida is the first fighter we know of to be punished for looking too ‘Capcom’ to compete, but he will have to braid his hair if he wants to fight Gray Maynard this Friday at UFC on FX in Atlantic City.
Nick Lembo, council for the NJSACB, suggested that Guida’s long hair could potentially be a distraction to his opponent. He had the following to say in a conversation with MMAJunkie regarding the UFC veteran’s decision to comply with the commission’s request:
“He doesn’t want to do it, and I don’t believe he’s 100% happy about it, but he’s being very understanding and very cooperative about it and he agreed to it. Otherwise, if he said, ‘No, I’m not going to do that,’ we’d have to have a hearing on it and let both sides present their case and have a commissioner’s ruling on the issue.”
Rumors suggest that it was Maynard’s camp that asked for the commission to address Guida’s hair, but when asked about it, Gray said
“I never filed a complaint. This was the first I’ve ever heard about it.”
We’re not sure if Clay Guida’s hair is distracting because we’ve never fought him; we’ve only had cheeseburgers with him. What we do know is that his hair doesn’t get in the way of him eating cheeseburgers, and in the grand scheme of things, that’s all the NJSAC commission should consider when asking him to alter his coif.