The Young Assassin, Melvin Guillard, is a unique fighter, one who has made mistakes and learned from them both in and out of the cage. He is one of my favorite fighters, he is exciting in the ring, and he is somewhat of a role model for me. Despite the bumps along the way, he is now a serious competitor, and in my opinion, possibly a future champion.
An experienced amateur athlete, he was an accomplished high school football player and wrestler, winning a state title in wrestling in his senior year. He fought in many amateur fights in MMA, and in a majority of them he came out victorious. He went on to give himself a tight schedule as a professional and he tried to fight and train as much as possible. In his pro career he has been very successful, and he had been a member of The Ultimate Fighter in its second season. Although he was eliminated from the competition in his first fight after a unanimous decision loss to Josh Burkman, he won in the finale by TKO against Marcus Davis. He went 8-4 before his most recent fight, all of his losses by submission. Perhaps it was for this reason that he was counted out of his fight against Evan Dunham, a fighter who is known for submissions. Instead, we saw a patient, decisive Melvin Guillard dominate Dunham with superior balance, power, gameplan, and the execution of said gameplan. This fight showed us the new Melvin Guillard, a calculating fighter, one that can put an opponent away without leaving himself open, and one that can be cautious and still put on a show.
Even as a devoted martial artist, Guillard did struggle with bad influences at one point. He had a serious cocaine addiction, one that he has now overcome and beaten. He has come back stronger, his will has grown. It is hard for an athlete to succeed after something like this, but Guillard has done so, and in impressive fashion. With a second chance and a very devoted coaching staff, The Young Assassin is back and better than ever. Greg Jackson and the rest of Melvin's coaching staff have helped him to evolve into a better fighter and a better human being. He is still young and improving his game with each fight. He has tons of experience and can look forward to a bright future in the sport. Can a world title be in that future? Only time will tell.