Melvin Guillard, one of the better prospects to hit the UFC, is finally coming into his own.
Always considered to be a tremendous athlete and talent in the worlds largest mixed martial arts promotion, he has found trouble in the past relaying his skills inside the cage. Often mired in some sort of controversy, whether it be his suspension following a post-fight drug screening where “The Young Assassin” tested positive for cocaine or several other allegations thrown at him, Melvin has now put his young and rambunctious life in the past.
One of the newest additions to the world renowned Greg Jackson camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the now budding lightweight contender has won 6 of his last 7 bouts with five of those victories coming inside the octagon. Now, in order to solidify himself as the next contender to the lightweight title, he will have to get past the world-ranked Evan Dunham this Saturday.
“When I got the call that I was going to be the main event and they moved me, it was a little less nerve wracking for me,” said Melvin who recently spoke with Sherdog.com
The 27-year-old was originally slated to face Yves Edwards at the “UFC Fight for the Troops 2″ show on the preliminary portion of the card, however after Kenny Florian bowed out of his main event slot opposite of Dunham due to injury, Melvin was more than anxious to take his place. After all, having to battle a close friend who you’ve spent time training with will always way heavy in your mind come fight time.
“I was a little bit nervous taking the Yves Edwards fight”, said the lightweight fighter.
“I think the Yves Edwards fight was a tougher fight for me because he’s a longtime friend and mentor. To me Yves Edwards is a legend in this sport. He’s a (fighter) that’s paid his dues. He’s making a comeback run at it and he’s dangerous.”
And with Evan, who is coming off an impressive performance against former champion Sean Sherk at UFC 119 last September–universally everyone believed Dunham won the fight, however he lost a highly-contested split-decision once the fight went to the judges score cards–Guillard see’s the Xtreme Couture product as the perfect stepping stone to get his career back in order.
“He’s going to be a big stepping stone for me,” said Guillard “Him being ranked above me, I kind of shy away from that. I don’t feel he [should be] ranked above me. I paid my dues in the UFC. He’s just coming into the UFC. He had a couple of tough fights, but I’ve been in the game of MMA for 15 years. … He hasn’t fought anybody like me.
“I feel I’m the [lightweight] everybody worries about,” continued the confident New Orleans native. “I think when these guys get phone calls from Joe Silva or Dana [White] and they say, ‘Hey, we want you to fight Melvin Guillard,’ I think guys panic. I honestly think guys fear fighting me because I’m so athletic and they don’t know what’s going to happen. If you look at all my fights, none of them are the same. I explode from anywhere. It’s hard to train for a guy like me. If he’s banking all his money on he’s going to submit me, then it’s going to be a long night for Evan Dunham.”
“UFC Fight for the Troops 2″ will air live on Spike TV this Saturday from Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.
So, MMA peeps, what do you think of Melvin’s chances against Dunham? Guillard has looked impressive in recent performances against Jeremy Stephens (albeit a snoozer, it was still a win over a well respected fighter), Gleison Tibau, and Dennis Siver–however, Dunham has looked every bit the world beater he has turned out to be. Who do you think takes this fight? Sound off in the comment section below.