2012 has been a rough year for Melvin Guillard. After being a fight or two away from a title shot in 2011, back to back losses to Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller and his recent knockout loss to Donald Cerrone have seen him fall into a 1-3 drought and in dire need of a win Saturday against Jamie Varner to salvage the year. That doesn't necessarily put a chip on a shoulder but the fact that the fight was originally scratched from the TUF finale two weeks ago does upset him. When Varner pulled out of the fight at the very last minute due to illness, Dana White decided to push it to UFC 155. By doing that, Guillard was forced to focus on training a little longer and rather than spend the holiday with his family, he spent it in the gym.
"I should have had this fight two weeks ago," Guillard says to LowKick. "I'm a little pissed off that I had to miss both Christmas and Thanksgiving with my family."
To make matters worse, Guillard's grandmother was hospitalized on Christmas morning and the 29-year-old was unable to be there for her. That has incensed him to put a hurting on Varner at UFC 155 in a fight that many peg to be a contender for the "Fight of the Night" award.
"I don't like bringing my personal life into the cage but on Christmas my grandmother ended up in the hospital and I wasn't able to be there for her," he said while noting her condition is fine now but didn't go into specific details. "I couldn't go home and spend the holidays with my family so now he has to pay."
While many think that he has to walk out of the Octagon on Saturday with a victory, Guillard doesn't necessarily see this crossroads fight in his career.
"This isn't do or die for me," Guillard says while noting that even when he loses, the fights are exciting. Not to mention that he is a company man that will fight anyone at anytime and make sure that he brings excitement to the cage. "I'm in good standing with the UFC. I'm one of those fighters that actually brings a fight every single time I step into that cage. Whether I win or lose I always bring you a great fight. I don't think I'm in danger of being cut at all."
But don't get it confused, Guillard has no plans of losing to Varner Saturday night. As a matter of fact, he's not worried about anything he brings to the table...not even if the fight hits the mat where many feel is his greatest weakness.
"My jiujitsu is on point," he says while noting that he's joined NAGA grappling tournaments to improve his ground game. "I'm working with the best in the world right now and I'm not afraid to go to the ground anymore. I don't panic when I hit the mat anymore. If I do, cool, I'm going to try to get a submission. But there's no way standing or on the ground that Jamie Varner can beat me and I'll prove it on Saturday night."