Melvin Guillard accepted a fight with Donald Cerrone because it seemed as if no one else in the UFC’s lightweight division wanted to meet “Cowboy” in his native state of Colorado. Guillard, however, feels as if the bout at UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar II can also serve as a homecoming of sorts for himself.
Guillard and Cerrone trained together under Greg Jackson’s watchful eye in New Mexico for a few years. Guillard recently decided that he needed to branch out, joining ranks with the “Blackzilians” in Florida at the Jaco Hybrid Training Center.
When the two collide in Denver Saturday night, Guillard’s present coaches – and former ones – will all be Octagon-side to watch “The Young Assassin” compete.
“It’s like being in the NFL,” Guillard told FightLine.com after Thursday’s pre-fight press conference. “Coach Greg will be like (New England head coach) Bill Belichick, and my coaches right now would be like (New Orleans head coach) Sean Peyton. We are going to go in and see who can get out-coached.”
Guillard has 43 professional MMA fights under his belt, and is coming off a win over Fabricio Camoes that improved his record to 30-10-2 with one no-contest. Standing across from Cerrone, who was a frequent sparring partner of his at Jackson’s, will not cause any added pressure in the fight.
“I’m actually enjoying it,” Guillard said. “My present coaches and my former coaches will all be there at one time coaching the both of us. It will kind of be like being coached by coach Greg again; sort of a homecoming feel.”
Despite leaving the gym, Guillard has said there is no ill-will between himself and the Jackson MMA coaching staff and fighters, adding, “it was just business. I have a great relationship will all those guys.”