UFC lightweight fighter Melvin Guillard was recently awarded the opportunity to fill in for an injured Kenny Florian against Evan Dunham in the main event of the upcoming UFC Fight for the Troops 2 event. With a win over the highly-regarded Dunham, Guillard will propel himself near the front of the lightweight contender’s pack. While some may doubt Guillard’s claim to a top spot in the 155-pound division, “The Young Assassin” told MMAWeekly.com recently that he is more than ready to sit amongst the division’s top dogs.
“I think it’s my time,” said Guillard. “I’m not really asking anymore, I’m telling them I want my shot.”
Guillard is currently on a three-fight winning streak, with wins over Ronnys Torres, Waylon Lowe, and Jeremy Stephens swinging the momentum in his favor following a submission loss to Nate Diaz, which dates back to September of 2009. Prior to the loss to Diaz, Guillard had put together another three-fight victory stint by defeating Eric Rogan, Dennis Siver, and Gleison Tibau. Guillard believes that his resume easily justifies his place in the main event, and further, his claim to a title shot.
“Being moved to the main event, I feel like I’m in my rightful place,” he said. “I’ve won six of my last seven fights in the UFC, and I just feel that I deserve a title shot. It was supposed to be Kenny Florian that’s up there, but this guy has had chance after chance. He’s had numerous chances to be in the No. 1 contender’s spot, and he choked. I just feel like there’s so many 55er’s in the weight class, give some of the other guys, give me and some of the other guys a chance to be in the spotlight.”
Guillard pointed out that there have been immediate rematches granted to both BJ Penn, and current challenger Gray Maynard, after close bouts with champion Frankie Edgar; he told MMAWeekly that he feels the lightweight division to be too rich a talent pool to stagnate by continually repeating title challengers.
“Everybody keeps seeing the same guys fight for titles, and at the end of the day we need to give the fans and you guys something different,” he said. “There’s so much more talent out there, why keep having the same guys fight for the title? Unless it’s the middleweight class where they’re running out of guys to fight Anderson Silva, the 55 class shouldn’t be that way. There should be a new guy fighting for the title every fight.”
Guillard last appeared in action in September at UFC 119, where he defeated Jeremy Stephens by close split decision. UFC Fight for the Troops 2 will take place at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, on January 22nd.