Guillard has seen it all. The veteran lightweight has over 50 professional bouts and spent nearly a decade with the UFC between 2005 and 2014. After a two-fight stop in World Series of Fighting, Guillard signed with Viacom-owned Bellator MMA last May.
The consensus No. 2 promotion managed to lure away former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson and Guillard doesn't sound surprised.
"I've watched Bellator grow," Guillard told MMA Fighting. "Now that they've moved away from the tournament fighting it will grow even more. The UFC with this Reebok deal is ridiculous. That deal ended up being a blessing in disguise for a lot of fighters and organizations because now they have the opportunity to sign a lot of talent. Guys aren't re-signing with the UFC, and I know for a fact that a lot of guys are going to cross over."
Guillard can't speak for everyone, but says the structure of his contract with Bellator allows for much more control and an opportunity to make "make a living."
"Within the next two or three fights my pay will go up tremendously," said Guillard. "The ball is in my court. As far as making prime money it's all based on me getting wins. I want to fight five times this year so I can make sure I have half a million dollars to a million dollars in the bank. That's a reality for me.
"I've always had a good relationship with [UFC president] Dana White. I still do, but I'm not excited about how things are going with the UFC on the endorsement side and the Reebok deal. Bellator's given me an opportunity to control my own destiny with my contract, something I didn't have with the UFC. I get to control who I fight. Now I get to control my career. In the UFC, a lot of time you don't really have that control. They dictate everything."
Hoping to see more elite fighters earning purses between $500,000 and one million dollars, Guillard sees UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor blazing a trail. But according to Guillard, the UFC may have invested too much into the Irish star.
"I'm not mad at Conor McGregor," said Guillard. "He's a smart motherf**ker. He's like the little Irish Floyd Mayweather right now. He's going to end up biting the UFC in the ass. I can feel it. I sense something coming. He's making so much money and he's got the owners sucking his d**k. They're going to turn around and they've put so much money behind this kid that he's going to do something to f**k the business by leaving or doing something stupid. That's what they get. I gave the UFC 10 years and I only got up to $47,000 to show and $47,000 to win when I left the UFC. I'm embarrassed to say that.
"I tried to ask the UFC to bump my pay when I fought Ross Pearson to $60,000 and $60,000. The first time in 10 years I asked them for anything. Those f**kers would not even give me 60 and 60. But they're going to give this kid a million, two million dollars a fight? He's making more money than everybody signed to the UFC, probably."