Now that he’s knocking out people left and right and solidifying himself as a top-division athlete, Melvin Guillard is calling out basically every top Lightweight under the UFC banner in order to get himself an eventual shot at the UFC championship. Guillard has called out people like Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller, and recently, he set his sights squarely on the man currently holding the UFC Lightweight Championship: Frank Edgar. Here are all the details.
Here are some very interesting quotes from Guillard courtesy of MMA Mania: “I feel like a lot of the guys at the top of the heap were overrated… Me personally, I think Frankie Edgar is overrated… He’s the champ right now, but he’s not a finisher. To me, a lot of the guys who aren’t finishing fights are overrated… I just feel overall that I’m the best 155′er and I’m content with that.”
Guillard makes an interesting point, and I find myself firmly agreeing and wholeheartedly disagreeing with several of the things he said during this interview. Let me start with something positive: there’s not a doubt in my mind that Melvin Guillard is a top-division Lightweight and definitely deserves to be “in the mix”.
And I’m glad he is, since Melvin has always struck me as someone with an amazing amount of potential that, for one reason or another, never managed to realize it… until now, of course. Now, Guillard has won five straight fights with three (T)KO stoppages, all three of which were worthy of any highlight-reel. The UFC Lightweight scene is crowded with top contenders and fantastic fighters, but Guillard is definitely one of the best.
Here’s where I disagree with Melvin, though: Frankie Edgar is not over-rated, and fighters that don’t finish fights are only over-rated if you make a blanket assumption and don’t take the time to examine things in-depth.
What I mean by that is this: let’s give a quick look at some of the people Frank Edgar has fought lately. He had a draw with Gray Maynard… no one’s beaten Gray Maynard. He beat BJ Penn by decision twice… BJ Penn has been stopped two times in his entire career. He fought Sean Sherk to a decision… Sean Sherk has been stopped twice in his entire career.
This reminds me of a point Dominick Cruz raised when people questioned why he’s not finishing more fights. I’m paraphrasing here, but Cruz basically said “Look at the opponents I’ve faced. Who’s finishing these guys?” Cruz’s answer, which was the correct answer by the way, was simple: no one.
My point is this: as you move higher and higher up the food chain, it becomes harder and harder to finish an opponent. That’s why a fighter like Anderson Silva, who routinely demolishes anyone put in front of him, is regarded as one of the greatest fighters ever. I think Guillard is wrong to criticize Edgar for beating people by decision when the fighters Edgar’s beaten have massive records and have only been stopped a few times in their entire careers.
So while I do think Melvin Guillard is one of the best Lightweight fighters in the UFC and definitely the best finisher at 155… I think he may be in for a rude awakening as he moves closer and closer to a title shot. Sooner or later, Guillard will run into a fighter that simply won’t go down. It’s happened before, and with how good many of the UFC’s Lightweights are right now, it’ll happen again.