When Melvin Guillard made his UFC debut in 2005 after a run on the Ultimate Fighter Season 2 he was seen as little more than a powerful striker with incredible athleticism whose biggest enemies were immaturity and overconfidence. Six years later, Guillard is 28 and has grown exponentially as a fighter, a fact evident by his impressive run featuring five straight wins and success in eight of his last nine fights.
“The more an opponent watches me, the more scared they’re going to get,” Guillard candidly confessed in a conversation with the UFC’s website.”That’s my main goal – to break a guy’s will. I know physically, I’m always going to be the better athlete. It’s rare they are going to find a better athlete than me at 155, but I think working with Greg Jackson, the team, and the trainers I have – I’m stronger mentally (too).”
“That’s the biggest weapon I have because I break people mentally before the fight even happens,” he continued. “Honestly, I think when guys sign the contracts to fight me they are not sure of themselves. They’re probably like ‘Why did (matchmaker) Joe Silva call me and ask me to fight Melvin?’ That’s the way I feel. It might not be like that, but in my mind that’s how I feel. I feel like guys don’t want to stand in front of me and trade punches.”
Guillard didn’t stop there, even making a half-serious offer relating to handing his future foes an advantage before the two actually square off in the ring.
“I don’t want to sound cocky, but I’m so confident in my skills and in my abilities that I would allow one of my opponents – whoever wants to, they have got an invitation – to come and watch me train to fight them,” declared Guillard. “It doesn’t matter what they see of me sparring or hitting mitts and all that, I don’t mind it. As long as I’m confident in my abilities in that cage then it doesn’t matter what they see. If you’re going to win then you’re going to win, if you’re going to be ready to fight then you’re going to be ready.”
The 29-8-2 New Orelans native will have his swagger put to the test this weekend at UFC 136 against Joe Lauzon, a 20-6 grappler who definitely poses a threat to Guillard on the ground given that seven of his eight losses have been the result of a submission. However, that fact is not a cause of concern for Guillard who made it clear his mind is on one thing ”“ victory.
“It’s not about if I beat Joe, it’s that I’m going to beat Joe. I’m going to knock him out like I knocked the other guys out. I’m not worried about anything.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC