Longtime UFC lightweight Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard recently received his release from the promotion following his wholly uninspired decision loss to surging Michael Johnson at UFC Fight Night 37.
While Guillard has given UFC fans several great fights throughout his nearly nine-year Octagon career, his tenure has also been marred by bouts of extreme inconsistency, something that most likely played a big part in his release.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 2 veteran appeared on “The MMA Hour” to give his take on the scenario, stating that he was injured against Johnson and is now happy to be able to explore other options:
"I was happy. I gave the UFC nine years. I gave them a good nine years. Honestly I gave them one bad performance, which was the London fight (against Johnson). I had two busted ribs, a busted hand in the first round, but I didn't make any excuses in the fight. I stayed in there, I fought. I could've been like most fighters and just threw in the towel when I got up off the seat, but I was fighting injured.
I didn't expect to get released. But I ended up getting released, and for me, honestly, I thought it was the best thing that could happen to me right now at this point in my career."
It’s an interesting perspective from Guillard, who was on the verge of title contention after a five-fight win streak in late 2011. However, he went on to lose four out of his next five bouts.
After he heals up from his injuries, “The Young Assassin” is excited to be on the lookout for a job in another fight promotion (perhaps Bellator, where he could instantly inject even more excitement into their tournament format). He believes he’ll be able to make much more money now than he ever did in the UFC:
"Now I can go move on with my life. I can go sign with another company, another company is going to pay me, probably, way more than I was making in the UFC. And at that point now, I have a chance to make some decent money in my career.
At the end of the day, I know what I'm worth. And I'm not going to let anybody try to undersell me. Because a lot of people are going to try to offer me bulls--t contracts, and I ain't taking it.
The UFC, that's a tough ball to crack. It's hard to negotiate with them at times, but you know what, I was okay. I had to be okay with what they were giving me. Other organizations, they're going to have to pay me, bro, because I know what I'm going to bring to the table."
There’s no doubt that Guillard still brings some of the most hard-hitting knockout power at 155 pounds, with blazing fast hand speed to match. But there’s not much to bank on past that, and obviously the UFC saw him as a lost cause.
He should rebound nicely in Bellator or the World Series of Fighting, and maybe even bank a few of those big paydays he seems to be focusing solely on.
Because after failing to rise to the top in the world’s biggest MMA promotion, that may be all he has left to shoot for.