Melvin Guillard‘s falling out with the Blackzilians and subsequent rejection by his old Jackson’s MMA team temporarily left the veteran UFC lightweight without a training home. Yesterday, MMAJunkie reported that Guillard has set up shop at the Grudge Training Center in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, where he has the full support of trainer Trevor Wittman:
“I feel me and him have a very good connection, and I know him pretty well,” Wittman said. “I feel we can really help him turn his career around…He asked me to hit mitts with him for the week, and it was a very good connection, and I think that was a part of what helped him make his choice to come here.”
“Melvin’s one of those guys that’s a spot fighter. He has shown spots of greatness…Seeing a guy like that, you can either be at the top of the game or the bottom of a game, or you can be a gatekeeper. When you’re mind is not right and you’re fighting for the wrong reasons and [acting] outside of what you do well, that’s where you see an athlete going downhill. To me, it’s all about where you are mentally.”
Though Grudge has long had a strategic affiliation with Jackson’s MMA — with fighters like Nate Marquardt, Brendan Schaub, and Shane Carwin shuttling between the two camps in the past — the Colorado facility is an independent operation, not subject to the edicts of Pope Greg. And with a fresh start at Grudge, the Young Assassin will look to snap his two-fight losing streak this summer.
The UFC has confirmed that Guillard will compete next at UFC on FOX 8 (July 27th at KeyArena in Seattle, Washington), where he’ll face TUF 6 winner* Mac Danzig. Danzig has cobbled together a less-than-stellar 4-6 record since winning the show in April 2008, and most recently dropped a split-decision against Takanori Gomi last November in Macau.
While Guillard and Danzig have been given numerous chances to rebound after setbacks in the past — Guillard has lost four of his last five bouts, and is riding back-to-back losses against Jamie Varner and Donald Cerrone — they’re both entering must-win territory, considering the UFC’s recent push to shed dead weight off its rosters. So who will come out on top in this one?
No other fights have been announced for the July 27th FOX event.
* You know a TUF winner’s UFC career hasn’t been much of a success if you still have to refer to him as “TUF [x] winner” when you’re writing a blog post about him, years after he won the show.
Guys you don’t have to refer to as “TUF [x] winner” anymore: Forrest Griffin, Diego Sanchez, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping, Matt Serra, Nate Diaz, Ryan Bader, Roy Nelson
Guys you still have to refer to as ”TUF [x] winner”: Kendall Grove, Travis Lutter, Mac Danzig, Amir Sadollah, Efrain Escudero, James Wilks, everybody after TUF 10.
On the bubble: Ross Pearson.