After 22 fights in the UFC, Melvin Guillard was unceremoniously released in late March after a dispirited loss to Michael Johnson in London. The man who at one point not so long ago was vying for his shot at the lightweight title is now searching for a new cage to call home.
And it seems that the World Series of Fighting might be that place. WSOF Matchmaker/Vice President Ali Abdel-Aziz expressed fondness for Guillard and his fighting style on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. He said that though they are in just preliminary discussions, he thinks "The Young Assassin" would be a great addition to WSOF’s lightweight ranks.
"I’ve talked to Melvin Guillard myself," Abdel-Aziz said. "He called me, and I talked to his management…actually, his manager texted me, I owe him a call. But, yeah, of course, absolutely, I have big interest in Melvin. The guy is exciting and he always puts on great fights win, lose or draw. And I got the chance to train with him and spar with him, and the guy if he’s focused, and he’s training, Melvin Guillard is dangerous."
WSOF is planning a big event in early July that will feature a lightweight championship fight between titleholder Justin Gaethje and Connecticut’s Nick Newell, as well as a welterweight title fight between Rousimar Palhares and Jon Fitch. Should Guillard come aboard, it would fortify WSOF’s 155-pound ranks, and possibly set up some contenders for the winner of Gaethje/Newell.
From the beginning of 2010 to near the end of 2011, Guillard went on a tear in the UFC, racking up five victories in a row. He was hovering right around title contention at the time, but with the Frankie Edgar/Gray Maynard series still playing out, he wanted to take a fight in his hometown of Houston.
That ended up being against Joe Lauzon, who shocked Guillard with a rear-naked choke just 47 seconds into the first round. That loss sent Guillard on a career tailspin, in which he roamed from camp to camp, and lost four of his next seven fights, including a no contest against Ross Pearson for an illegal knee.
With the 31-year old Guillard having talked about his misadventure in trying to get a title shot, Abdel-Aziz says this may be the opportunity he’s been waiting for. Plus, he said, a change of scenery might be just what Guillard needs to get rolling again.
"I’d like to maybe get him a couple of wins, and maybe he can fight for the title one day," Abdel-Aziz said. "[Melvin] said he wanted to be a champion, and he fought in the UFC five or six times and didn’t get a title shot. Listen, get two wins in here and you get a title shot."