After taking an injured Kenny Florian’s place against Evan Dunham in last weekend’s UFC Fight for the Troops 2 main event, Melvin Guillard asserted that he deserves a title shot and that the UFC needs to put new blood into the lightweight title picture instead of recycling contenders like Florian.
“Ken-Flo,” who has failed in two title challenges and recently lost in a number one contender’s to Gray Maynard, took issue with Guillard’s statements and, in a recent interview with Pro MMA Radio, called out “The Young Assassin.”
“It doesn’t make sense,” Florian said of Guillard’s claim to a title shot. “There’s a lot of guys working hard. It’s who the best fighter is. If Melvin thinks he deserves a shot over me, he should fight me and beat me. It’s always about who the best fighter is. Who has he beaten? What has he done? That’s great he’s finally considered a top contender. Losing to Joe Stevenson in the first round isn’t gonna get you that shot. You have to be consistent. He has to separate himself from the pack. I would take that fight.”
The loss Florian referenced came in 2007 and was followed by both a positive drug test for cocaine and a subsequent loss to Rich Clementi. Since then however, Guillard has gone 7-1 in the UFC, with his only loss coming against Nate Diaz. Currently training with MMA guru Greg Jackson, who Guillard credits for adjusting his attitude and mental state as much as his fight game, “The Young Assassin” has racked up four wins in a row, the most recent of which being an impressive technical knockout of Evan Dunham.
In contrast, Florian is 2-2 in his last four, sandwiching dominant wins over Takanori Gomi and Clay Guida with dominant losses to BJ Penn and Gray Maynard. Prior to the Penn loss, Florian hadn’t lost a bout since 2006 when he was defeated by then-champion Sean Sherk; he fought six times between the Sherk and Penn bouts. His most recent fight came against Maynard, in which he was soundly out-grappled from bell to bell.