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Guillard: Rehab Was the Turning Point

Melvin Guillard in recent years has put his fight career in jeopardy with a positive cocaine test, a controlled substance charge and a probation violation, which have led to jail time and an eight-month suspension, but it wasn't until the five-month stint in rehab late last year that handed him his wake-up call.

"The turning point for me was when I had to sit in a rehab – which to me which was jail – I had to sit there for six months," Guillard said Monday in a conference call. "Those six months gave me time to miss my family. I missed my wife. I missed the sport.

"I'd just sit there all the time night and day just thinking about, 'Man, I hope and pray Dana and them understand what's going on and I still have a job when I get out.'"

Luckily for Guillard, his apologies to the UFC brass were accepted and in June he extended his win streak to three by taking a split decision over Gleison Tibau.

On Wednesday he'll headline the UFC Fight Night 19 event against another outspoken lightweight, Nate Diaz. However, the build-up for this fight has been unusually quiet, especially considering the last time Guillard main evented a UFC Fight Night card, he openly accused opponent Joe Stevenson of performance-enhancing drugs and at UFC 79 Guillard topped himself by participating in an ugly feud with Rich Clementi.

Guillard, who says he doesn't drink and spends most of his time outside of the gym at home with his wife, credits his growth for the lack of controversy coming into this fight.

"I have no bad blood with any fighter other than Rich Clementi," Guillard said. "And I'm already to the age now where I'm 26 and I matured overnight. I've been through so much. I had to grow up overnight if I were to continue and become successful."

Guillard told the media that he has nothing personal against Diaz and the only negative words Guillard had was his honest assessment of the Cesar Gracie fighter's abilities.

"As a fighter I think he's just an average fighter." Guillard said. "When you talk about guys like Clay Guida, Joe Stevenson, Diego Sanchez, and myself [and] Gray Maynard. You get guys that bring something special to the game. Diaz is just one of those guys who won The Ultimate Fighter so people are going to talk a lot about him because he won The Ultimate Fighter, but as far as him bringing something special to the ring, I don't see anything special about his game."

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