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Melvin Guillard granted release from WSOF, 'excited to be starting over'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Melvin Guillard is a free agent.

World Series of Fighting granted the UFC veteran his release Thursday, MMAFighting.com has confirmed with Guillard's manager Abe Kawa. After a tumultuous run with the promotion, Kawa said Guillard asked for the release and it was granted.

"It was a difference of opinion," Kawa said. "Melvin had his opinion; they had their opinion. It didn't work out. Everybody has those times. We asked for his release and they obliged. I'm actually grateful to them. It wasn't a big deal. It wasn't a problem. It was two differences of opinions and we didn't see eye to eye."

Kawa's brother and business partner Malki announced the release Thursday on Twitter.

WSOF pulled Guillard from his bout with Ozzy Dugulubgov on April 10 due to Guillard not providing his medicals in a timely fashion. Guillard (32-14-2, 2 NC) slammed the organization in the lead up to that fight and also refused to do media through WSOF public relations.

On Submission Radio before what would have been his fight with Dugulubgov, Guillard said his issues with WSOF and executive vice president Ali Abdel Aziz were "a little bit personal to me."

"It's funny, they never answer their phone when I need to talk to them, but yet when they want me to do interviews and they want something from me, they want to try and force me to do it," Guillard said. "So there's a lot of things in the company that I'm not happy about and I'm the type of person [that] I'm always going to speak my mind and there's already other places that want to sign me."

Guillard missed weight for his WSOF debut last July, which ended up being a TKO victory over Gesias Cavalcante. He missed weight again before what would have been a lightweight title fight against Justin Gaethje last November. Gaethje won by split decision without the title on the line.

"The guy never made weight," Abdel Aziz told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani on Thursday. "He was not easy to work with. I wish him the best of luck. I prefer to be friends with him than do business with him. No hard feelings at all."

Kawa said he didn't want to go into Guillard's specific issues with WSOF, adding that he believes the organization treated him "fairly."

"They didn't treat him bad," Kawa said. "I'm not gonna say they treated him bad. I think they treated Melvin fairly for the most part. In everything they did, they were actually really good. We would tell you otherwise."

Guillard, 32, was once one of the best lightweights in the world. He made his UFC debut back in 2005 and compiled a 12-9 record with one no contest for the promotion. He has wins over the likes of Jeremy Stephens, Gleison Tibau and Dennis Siver. The UFC cut the Louisiana native and American Top Team fighter after a loss to Michael Johnson in March 2014.

Kawa doesn't envision Guillard's weight issues being a factor in the future. Guillard, Kawa said, is "excited to be starting over." There has been no determination as to where he'll end up next, but Kawa said there is absolutely interest.

"Everybody is asking," Kawa said. "As far as where he's gonna go, we don't know yet. He's still the name. He's still the guy that's gonna bring it. He's still gonna stand and bang with anybody he fights. He's still the guy that doesn't care who you put in front of him. He'll take that fight. People tend to love that."