To say that longtime UFC veteran Melvin Guillard's stint with the World Series of Fighting has been tumultuous would be a drastic understatement.
Not only has "The Young Assassin" missed weight on two occasions, but heading into his April 10 fight against Ozzy Dugulubgov, Guillard was unceremoniously plucked from the card for ignoring the WSOF PR team. That decision was announced on Monday.
While Guillard was now been replaced with Utah-based fighter Lucas Montoya (8-3), WSOF was left answering questions as to what exactly happened that prompted the action. And on the WSOF 20 conference call on Wednesday, the promotion's president Ray Sefo didn't mince words about how disappointed they were with Guillard's unprofessionalism.
"Like I told his managers, from day one, his first fight with us he missed weight and he came up with some sort of excuse," Sefo said. "Listen, I'm the guy that fights for the fighters all the time, but when a fighter's unprofessional and doesn't live up to the obligations of his contract, I want to be the first one to step up and say something.
"[Guillard] missed weight for his first fight. He missed weight for a world title fight. He put us at risk in terms of...because, what happens if he'd won that fight? And then our PR team has reached out to him and his management team to do PR. He just completely ignored that, and then he goes off and does his own interview with somebody else and trash talks the company. It's just, you know, I'm not going to tolerate that kind of behavior."
Guillard voiced his dissent with the WSOF in an interview with Submission Radio last week.
"To be honest, instead of being the World Series of Fighting champion I'd rather be in the UFC just fighting in the top 10 and probably never becoming the UFC world champion, if I had that option," Guillard said in the interview. "If I had the option to be the World Series champion right now, or go back to the UFC to finish off my career with the UFC, whether I get a title shot or not, I would take that UFC contract over a World Series [contract] any day."
All of this led up to Guillard's removal from Friday's WSOF card, which takes place at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino.
"He was given a deadline, which was going to be last Friday for his medicals, and that didn't happen," Sefo said. "Then (Vice President/matchmaker) Ali (Abdel-Aziz) sent out an email saying that if he didn't have his medicals by 10 o'clock Monday morning, then he was going to be pulled from the card. At 10 or 11 -- 11:30 or 12 -- we still hadn't heard anything from his management team, nor had we heard anything from him, so we sent out an email stating all of the things I just said. And that left me no choice but to pull him from the card.
"Funny enough, five or ten minutes later, we get a phone call from his team, but we don't hear from Melvin. So, you know, it's just one of these things. If you want to be a professional fighter, then be professional. You're getting paid good money to fight, and we signed you to a contract. It's just unprofessional. I've been in this game a long time. I've had 101 fights and there's not one time that I was not professional about any fight, even when I was an amateur. Again, I'm not going to tolerate anybody who's not going to be professional, when we are trying everything that we can to help you."
Overall, the 32-year old Guillard has gone 3-6-(1) over his last ten fights. He was let go by the UFC after losing a listless decision against Michael Johnson in March 2014, and has since gone 1-1 in the WSOF. In his last fight, he came up on the short end of a split decision against champion Justin Gaethje. That fight was contested at a 159-pound catchweight, which Guillard came in over.
Asked if he foresaw Melvin having another fight with WSOF, Sefo said it's up in the air.
"Right now that's something we're going to discuss," he said. "Like I told his management team, that's something we're going to discuss next week when this is over. And then we'll see where we go from there."