UFC 136: Melvin Guillard's Continuing Quest for a Title Shot

via ufc.com

Melvin Guillard has gone 8-1 since the start of 2008, an impressive feat given that eight of those nine bouts have come under the bright lights of the UFC. His current five fight win streak has been enough to see Melvin rise to #9 overall in the lightweight division in the USA Today / SB Nation Consensus Rankings. While that position in the rankings has been debated by many, what can't be debated is the improvement seen since back to back losses and a positive cocaine test in 2007.

It's improvement that UFC president Dana White is perfectly willing to acknowledge. Via 5th round:

"I like Melvin and I like how he's training hard," White recently expressed. "I always thought he was the biggest waste of talent and he really turned that around and I'm happy to see it."

...

"There's so many good guys in that 155 pound division, we're trying to figure out who's next," White stated. "That division is so stacked and there's so many good fights to make.

"I'm excited to see him in there with [Joe] Lauzon. If he beats Lauzon, it's gonna be interesting to see who we end up pitting together to fight for the title next."

The knock against Guillard's ranking and talk of a title shot has been the level of competition. That's something that also dogs Lauzon.

Joe has lost to almost any UFC caliber lightweight he has faced since bursting onto the scene with a shocking KO of Jens Pulver at UFC 63. Since that fight the men Lauzon has beat have a combined UFC record of 9-17 (with Jeremy Stephens holding 7 of those wins). The men he has lost to? A combined UFC record of 25-11.

So it's hard to say that a win over Joe should put Melvin in the cage fighting for the lightweight championship. And with a fight between Clay Guida and Ben Henderson being put together with a title shot likely on the line, and the plans to bring Gilbert Melendez into the UFC sooner rather than later, that seems to be something Melvin is okay with.

From MMA Fighting:

"I look at it like this man, Two champions from two different organizations i think they both should fight to get rid of the No. 1 [contender]."

...

"It takes the heat off of me too. I rather get another fight," the 28-year-old says. "If it has to be the winner of Guida and Ben Henderson, but right now Guida is my teammate, so I won't fight him, but if something went wrong and Ben won, then I'd take the Ben Henderson fight next if i had to. It all has to work itself out and see what happens. we can't really say who's next and who's gonna get what. Right now my main focus is on beatting up Joe Lauzon Satuday, winning that fight and I'll move forward from there."

And you can put Guillard firmly in the "no fighting teammates" camp as well:

"I wouldn't fight my teammate unless it's for the title," Guillard said. "That's the only way me Cowboy {Donald Cerrone) or Clay Guida would ever fight each other. Because at that point, it's about us having our legacy."

That's a shame actually. Should Melvin pick up a win Saturday, a fight with Cerrone (assuming Cerrone beats Denis Siver, which I fully expect) would make an excellent "one more fight" to prove his title "worthiness." 

For now it just looks like "The Young Assassin" simply needs to keep doing what he has been doing. Win fights and wait for the shot to come.

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