On the heels of a surprising, rapid submission loss to Joe Lauzon this past October at UFC 136, UFC lightweight fighter Melvin Guillard has decided to uproot himself from Greg Jackson’s camp in Albuquerque to join the growing Blackzilians team in Florida.
Guillard announced his change of camp during an appearance on MMAWeekly Radio recently, explaining that, unlike his new Blackzilians teammate Rashad Evans, he parted on good terms with the Jackson camp, leaving only to expand as a fighter.
“Both camps are great, both sets of coaches are awesome. It’s just a decision I had to make for myself professionally. Did I want to split the time? Yeah, I did, but it’s kind of like trying to work for Exxon and work for Shell,” said Guillard. “You won’t be able to split your time between both. Cause both of those companies wouldn’t allow it. So it came to one of those points in my life where I had to make a grown-up decision. Kind of an executive decision, and this is the decision I made.
“I didn’t leave Jackson’s in a bad way. I love those coaches to death, love that team, and if anything ever occurs and I have to go back to Jackson’s, I hope I’m still welcome, because I didn’t leave in the wrong way,” Guillard continued. “One thing my mother taught me when I was a kid growing up: You never leave home bad because you never know when you might need to come back through that door. I hope the coaches there and the team there still love for me and care for me the way they did when I was performing for them.”
Calling the decision one of the most worthwhile he’s ever made, Guillard explained that it’s up to the fighter to make himself, not necessarily the coach, and that he needed a new environment to continue his growth.
“As fighters we have to make the decision who’s going to get us ready to take us to that next level. At the end of the day, all this hype about which coach is better than who, at the end of the day we’re the ones in there doing the job,” he said. “We’re the ones that have to get in there and bust our butts. All they can do is give direction and make things go from there. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time for myself.”
Guillard is scheduled to face Jim Miller this weekend at UFC on FX 1, which goes down at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.