[EXCLUSIVE] UFC 150′s Melvin Guillard: “I am a hard hitting SOB”
STUDIO MMA, LOS ANGELES – At UFC 150 this weekend, Melvin Guillard and Donald Cerrone will show fans what happens when two former teammates put aside their friendship for one evening to go three rounds in the Octagon.
For Guillard, a man intent on using this fight to climb up the ranks of the lightweight division, the stakes are clear: 1) Knock out a close friend and training partner and 2) Use this fight as a stepping stone to earn a shot at the UFC Lightweight Title.
But how does someone UFC President Dana White once referred to as “nutty in the head” describe the opportunity to fight a training partner he considers “like family” in such a high stakes fight?
“In one word: Fun,” said Guillard to StudioMMA.com.
Probably not the first word that comes to mind when you consider the challenge posed by Guillard’s Blackzillians training partner—a former number one lightweight contender with more than seven Fight of the Night credits to his name.
“Oh, it will be Fight of the Night, we will live up to it. We will fight, we will get banged up. Fans will see us go all out.,” said Guillard
Perhaps the biggest misconception people have going into this fight, says Guillard, is expecting two former training partners to treat one another any differently in the Octagon.
“The fans can expect an all out war. It’s not about fighting a friend, it’s about fighting in general.”
And yet, despite the business-minded approach to the fight itself, Guillard has nothing but respect for the very same “Cowboy” who has invited him and his wife to spend time with his family at his ranch.
“We are good friends, like brothers, so there is no animosity here, we’ll both get banged up and beat up a little bit, but after we will go out and have a drink and talk about the fight—you know, normal things people do after a fight. This fight may actually bring us closer than we already are.”
Guillard says that although hasn’t trained with Cerrone for almost a year, he fully expects to see a more evolved opponent—a consideration, he says, “The Cowboy” should also keep in mind when mapping out his own game plan.
“I’ve gotten better, I’m not the same fighter. He is going to be improved in certain areas, he will present new game to the table, I’m gonna present a different kind of game as well. I just expect a hard and tough fight from Donald.”
Does this mean we’ll see a deviation from the same knock out power we’ve come to expect from many of Guillard’s previous fights?
“I am a hard hitting SOB. I knock guys out with one punch, when I swing I like to put guys away. I’m not one of those guys who try to score a punch, when I throw something I want it to hurt and finish you. So I believe this’ll be an asset in this fight,”
And when it’s all said and done, where might you expect to see Guillard outside of the cage?
“I golf at least five days a week. The way I look at it, it’s got its similarities to the UFC,” said Guillard. “If you have a shot that’s bad, your whole game can go out the window. If you get put in a bad position in the cage, you can’t think about that bad position. To get out, you got to think about what you can do to turn it into a positive.”
Just don’t expect Cerrone to join Guillard playing through on the greens any time soon.
“I don’t think he really plays golfs much, but hell yeah, if he’d be up for playing golf [after the fight], I’d definitely be up for it.”