Melvin Guillard's summer workout regimen involves a lot of sun and sand, but it's certainly no day at the beach.
New Orleans native Melvin Guillard has a 27-8-2 record in UFC competition, including 16 knockouts. He has won seven of his past eight bouts heading into Saturday's fight against Shane Roller in Las Vegas.
For the past few months, the New Orleans mixed martial arts competitor has been seen hustling up and down the undulating dunes of New Mexico's West Mesa Desert. The extreme training is part of his preparation for his undercard bout against Shane Roller at UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber 2, which will be Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
"You're about a mile up in the sky, so it really works your lungs, and it feels like it works every nook and cranny in your muscles," Guillard said. "It's the hardest thing I've done so far."
But the Bonnabel High School graduate said he realizes the extra effort is needed to achieve greatness in the UFC's rugged lightweight division, and it's a price he's willing to pay until he gets a title shot.
Guillard (27-8-2 UFC, 16 knockouts) has won seven of his past eight fights, including a first-round TKO over Evan Dunham in the main event of the UFC Fight for the Troops 2 last January. The performance netted him a second career "Knockout of the Night" honor.
"Melvin's strengths are his ability to change rhythm and hit really hard," said Greg Jackson, Guillard's coach and operator of Jackson's Submission Fighting and MMA training camp in Albuquerque, N.M. "But he doesn't just rely on natural talent as much anymore. He's matured and has learned other skills that really round him out."
Meanwhile, Roller (10-3, six submissions) also is on a roll. The former Oklahoma State wrestler has won five of his past six matches, including a "Knockout of the Night" performance over Thiago Tavares at UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampman (on March 3).
Guillard said he won't look past Roller, especially when considering the transitory success of many fighters struggling to sustain careers in the UFC.
"Shane is very tough," Jackson said. "He's good at kickboxing and he's good on the ground. That's why we've been working on all of the nuances to beat someone as well rounded as Shane is."
A single loss, even to someone as talented as Roller, could be a major setback.
"Every fight is a title fight in the UFC," Guillard explained. "Every victory is important, because you want to have job security. I always need to put on a good show and win so the next time I will get a phone call to fight again. That's my mindset."
Nonetheless, Guillard doesn't succumb to pressure when pondering his future.
As he has proven in the desert, he can handle the heat.
"I'm not going to call out any names, but there aren't any finishers like me. I usually end my fights in the first or second round," Guillard said. "I am the fastest athlete, the best striker and the best finisher in my weight class. I have to beat Shane Roller to make a statement."
Melvin talking a bundle of shite again.
Lets look at it:
Melvins last 6 wins: 2 TKO, 1 KO, 1 clean decision and 2 splits.
Jim Millers last 6 wins: 2 TKOs, 2 subs and 2 clean decisions.
Soti : 3 subs, 1 TKO and 2 decisions.
Siver : 2 TKOs, 2 subs and 2 decisions.
Florian : 3 subs, 1 TKO, 2 decisions.
I could go on... but I'm bored.
Do shut up Melvin.