Guillard’s Growing Pains

Written by Tom Ngo
July 7th, 2008

Melvin Guillard is only 25 years of age and has already fought in over 30 professional MMA bouts.  However, it wasn’t until The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 in 2005 that he became a household name amongst UFC fans.  Since then, we have seen him grow up right before our eyes, through good times and bad.

He has shown flashes of his brilliance, like he did Saturday night at UFC 86 when TKO’d Denis Siver 36 seconds into the 1stRound, but he has also shown us flashes of immaturity, like when he tried to start a brawl in the Octagon after his loss to bitter rival Rich Clementi at UFC 79.

It was after this incident that the UFC decided to do something that they never do.  They let Guillard go and fight for a smaller organization, possibly as a wakeup call, but more likely to get his head straight.  It only took one fight, but it looks like the youngster is seeing things more clearly now. 

“I was mad, angry at a lot of things, but I’ve had a lot of tragedy in my day. I know I lost my father, (Hurricane) Katrina hit,” Guillard said at the UFC 86 post-fight press conference. “So, it wasn’t just about fighting. I just had a lot of personal stuff going on in my life, but I’m just happy to be back. My teammates…they have really helped me grow up.”

From the looks of his performance on Saturday, he sure has matured. He was humble in victory, and thankful for his second opportunity with the MMA powerhouse. 

“I was angry, but I feel I’ve grown as a man,” Guillard added. “I’m 25 years old now. I have to put the (expletive) out and put my job first. My job right now is the UFC, so you guys can look forward to me being focused and me staying on top of my game. “

If he continues to perform like he did at UFC 86, this can be his job for a long time to come.

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