||08-10-2012 07:04 AM
Melvin Guillard: "Why aren't more LWs stepping up?"
DENVER – UFC lightweight Melvin Guillard (30-10-2 MMA, 11-6 UFC) admits he's excited about the prospect of fighting his former teammate Donald Cerrone (18-4 MMA, 4-1 UFC).
After all, on paper the matchup looks like it should produce fireworks, and a lucrative "Fight of the Night" bonus is a real possibility.
But Guillard also laments the fact that he was ever in a position to take the fight in the first place. After all, with just one month between his July win over Fabricio Camoes and this UFC 150 co-headliner, Guillard said others must have dropped the ball.
"I'm sitting here, today, getting ready to fight my best friend because maybe thee or four other guys didn't take the fight," Guillard said. "This fight has been planned long before my last fight on July 7. They already had these fights already matched up. So for me to be fighting a month later, that means some guys didn't step up to the plate and do their job."
Guillard and Cerrone meet in the co-main event of Saturday's UFC 150 fight card, which takes place at Denver's Pepsi Center. The bout is one of five to air on pay-per-view following prelims that air on FX and stream on Facebook.
Guillard said fighters electing to wait for particular matchups and looking to hand-select their opponents is an alarming trend. However, at 29 years old and in danger of – as he put it – becoming "The Middle-Aged Assassin," Guillard said he's realized taking the toughest fights available is the only way to operate.
"In this weight division, everybody has beaten everybody," Guillard said."There is no dominant guy. We're all tough fighters. It's about picking the right fights, and I think right now, in my life, fighting Donald makes the most sense. He's a tough guy, … and I'd rather be fighting Donald than fighting some new guy coming into the UFC just to get a win."
Guillard isn't currently in the UFC title picture following submission losses to Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon. But his raw abilities and crowd-pleasing fighting style mean he's never too far out of the discussion. But for now, his first goal is to qualify for top-5 consideration on the division, and he believes an exciting win could do exactly that.
"I'm expecting a three-round war," Guillard said. "This fight is going to decide if I can compete with the elite. Or am I going to be one of those guys that's floating in the pack just to get by. I don't want to be that guy."
And he doesn't want to fight anyone else who wants to be "that guy," either.
"When I was offered this fight, the first thing I thought was, 'I guess there must have been some other people who said no to this fight,'" Guillard said. "Quite frankly, I was right about that. There was about three people who turned it down.
"For the media and the UFC to know how the division is so stacked, why aren't more guys stepping up? That's my question."
Think what you want to about Melvin, but he's not afraid of any fight. More fighters should be like that :)
Also - I love "The middle-aged Assassin" ;)