As of late, UFC featherweight Clay Guida hasn’t looked like the fighter most fans remember from earlier in the frenetic competitor’s career, opting for takedowns and top control instead of an in-your-face approach. The change isn’t coincidental either nor is it temporary. According to Guida, he recently came to grips with the need to approach each effort with the mindset of a professional instead of a guy simply out to entertain.

“It comes down to this: I’m tired of second place,” admitted Guida in an interview with MMAJunkie Radio. “I’ve been second place my whole life; I’ve been the underdog my whole life. I’m tired of walking around with disappointment and my head down and thinking what could have been down the road. I’m chomping at the bit for this.”

“It comes down to I’m tired of disappointing myself and my friends and family and coaches and coming up a little bit short,” he concluded. “I’m over it, and it’s time to move forward in the right direction of becoming a champion. I train like one, and it’s time to get in there and get serious.”

Guida will have a chance to spark a campaign for status as top contender tonight when he takes on Chad Mendes at UFC 164. Mendes is 14-1 with knockouts in his last three tilts. Comparably, Guida holds an overall record of 30-13 and was last seen making a successful featherweight debut, outpointing Hatsu Hioki in January.

Fans can catch their clash on the PPV portion of this evening’s event.