UFC lightweight Melvin Guillard has seen a ton throughout his lengthy MMA career. Once thought to be a strong contender for the UFC 155-pound title, Guillard saw his UFC employment nearly dashed along with his championship dreams when he lost four out of five fights in a brutal stretch from 2011-2012.
But win or lose, “The Young Assassin” usually puts on exciting fights. He losses were to top opposition like Jim Miller, Donald Cerrone, and Joe Lauzon. He recently rebounded a bit by knocking out Mac Danzig at UFC on Fox 8, and looks to continue his momentum against TUF 9 winner Ross Pearson at this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 30 in Manchester.
Guillard needs another impressive win to continue trending upward. As usual, he’s not lacking for confidence heading into the bout. He offered up his thoughts on the dangerous Pearson to MMA Crazy TV this week:
“I’m the Young Assassin, that’s what I do. I like to stop people in they tracks. I’ve had my win streaks; I was on a five-fight win streak before I lost. I’m coming off a one-fight win streak after beating Mac Danzig in July, and I’m still enjoying that ride, so it doesn’t matter how many wins you rack up in a row, only thing that matters is the next guy that’s in front of you, and right now, I’m probably Ross Pearson’s biggest test of his career, and I think he know that’s as well. So, for him, I think that’s more pressure on him, being that he’s gotta fight in front of his hometown. I think there’s more pressure on Ross than there is on me. It’s tough when you fight in front of your home.”
Guillard raises an interesting point heading into UFN 30. Being in front of his hometown crowd could definitely help or hurt Pearson. If he shows up motivated but calm, the crowd could propel him to victory. On the other hand, Pearson could get too excited and feel the pressure to perform for the British fans.
Guillard may be Pearson’s stiffest test in the Octagon thus far; he’s definitely got the most high-level MMA experience. However, Guillard is not without his own issues. He's now training with his fourth camp in four years after moving to American Top Team for his UFN 30 training camp. Guillard had a fallout with Grudge Training Center after publicly leaving both Jackson's MMA and the Blackzilians, so you have to wonder if he struggles to gel with the best fteams and coaches.
Both Guillard and Pearson have shown the ability to quickly finish fights with their hands, so we should be in for a war when these two hit the Octagon on Saturday. Who is your pick to earn the huge win and keep their momentum rolling?