Melvin Guillard Expecting “Really Tough Fight” With Donald Cerrone, But “Not Worried at All” About Former Teammate’s Skills
By Kelsey Mowatt
This Saturday, Melvin Guillard will take on his friend and former teammate Donald Cerrone, in what he recently described to Full Contact Fighter as a “life changing fight.” Despite their friendship, the lightweights have elected to face off in a match-up, whereby the victor’s title shot chances could be substantially advanced.
“You know what? Donald’s a banger man,” Guillard said about his former Jackson MMA training partner. “He likes to go in there and fight; he’s one of those crazy guys where if you hit him hard, he keeps coming. He’s one of those kind of guys so I’m definitely expecting a really tough fight.”
While Cerrone has forged a reputation for being an aggressive and dangerous striker, so has Guillard, whose memorable stoppage wins over Evan Dunham and Shane Roller are only more recent demonstrations of his power.
“Am I worried about any of his skills? No I’m not worried at all,” said Guillard. “I’m going to go in there and fight my fight; we’re going to go in there and bang and scrap it out. If he ends up trying to take me down and submit me, then I have my jiu-jitsu game to rely on. I’m not scared of my jiu-jitsu game. My jiu-jitsu game is great right now and I was able to showcase that in my last fight.”
“I actually had some jiu-jitsu tournaments that came up here in Florida that I was supposed to do, but when I got the fight with Donald, I had to pull out of it,” Guillard added. “I have a gym full of world class grapplers and I have a gym of world class strikers, and I know he has the same thing. I know that because I’ve been part of that team, so I’m expecting the best Donald Cerrone there is, and I hope he expects the best Melvin Guillard there is because I feel in my mind this fight can put me into title contention.”
Like Cerrone (18-4), before he lost by unanimous decision to Nate Diaz last December, Guillard had also put together an impressive run and was pounding his way to a title fight last year. Then, the 29 year-old-fighter was submitted in back-to-back fights against Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller, and it remained to be seen what 2012 held for the vet.
At UFC 148, on July 7th, however, Guillard (30-10-2) returned to the winner’s circle by working his way to a UD victory over Fabricio Camoes.
“First and foremost, every fight’s important in the UFC,” said Guillard, while discussing the fight and its importance. “You can lose one fight and get cut; you can get two fights and get cut, and three is definitely a cut, so I was there with two losses back-to-back, so that was definitely in the back of mind. I knew I had to win this fight because there is no fighting for Bellator. There is no fighting for Strikeforce; Melvin Guillard belongs in the UFC, so obviously I knew what was on the line.”
Although the fight did not produce a highlight reel stoppage that fans have come to expect from Guillard, the TUF veteran defended Camoes’ advances on the ground well and outscored the BJJ Black Belt for the win.
“I’m a tough critic so I give myself a C plus,” said Guillard, when asked to grade his more recent performance. “I feel that way because I didn’t finish the fight. I should have finished the fight. I don’t feel like I played it safe, but I was very cautious, because in the Jim Miller fight I was winning the fight, did something crazy, and he ended up taking my back in the scramble…In this fight I was very composed.”
“I want to be calm, stay composed, even when things go bad I want to be in control of the situation,” Guillard added. “I think that’s what I was able to display in the Camoes fight. I was very composed when I was in trouble, and I didn’t stay in trouble long.”
The Guillard, Cerrone bout will be part of this Saturday’s, UFC 150 card in Denver, Colorado.