Most MMA fans know the legends. Guys like Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Royce Gracie, and rightfully so. What about the other fighters though. The ones that went to war with these legends, or were there to stick it out through the dark years of MMA. Then there’s the fighters that have been cut by the UFC, and seem to disappear. Forgotten Warriors is about these fighters.
In the first instalment of what I hope to be many, we have a look at Melvin Guillard.
Melvin started his pro MMA career in 2002 at the young age of 19. He ripped through opponents racking up 11 straight wins. Out of his first 11 fights, Guillard made people tap or nap 9 times. He would continue fighting for 3 more years, before he got to introduce himself to the MMA world.
In 2005 Melvin earned the opportunity to appear on The Ultimate Fighter 2, as a welterweight. Although he lost his elimination bout against Josh Burkman, he would still get a chance to show his skills in the finale. Guillard went toe to toe with Marcus Davis, before punishing Marcus with brutal elbows on the ground. Davis was cut badly, and the doctors were forced to stop it in the second round. If you haven’t seen this fight, I highly recommend checking it out. Still one of the worst cuts I’ve seen.
Melvin would fight one more time at welterweight. A battle versus Josh Neer. Guillard lost via triangle choke in the first round. After the loss, Melvin Guillard officially moved weight classes. Melvin made his lightweight, and PPV debut at UFC 60. Guillard was a man on fire that night, KO’ing Rick Davis just 1:37 in to the first.
Melvin struggled with the loss of his father, and substance abuse early in his UFC career. Something that hits home to anyone who has lost a parent at a younger age. Even with his struggles Melvin was able to fight back the beasts, and soldier on. In 22 UFC fights, he put together 8 KO/TKO victories in the lightweight division. He also received 5 "of the night" bonuses. After a no contest vs Ross Pearson, and a dull unanimous decision loss to Michael Johnson, Guillard was released by the UFC.
In April of this year, it was confirmed that Guillard had signed a multi fight contract with WSOF. On July 5th while most MMA fans were glued to UFC 175, Guillard made his WSOF debut. Even though he missed weight and forfeited 15% of his purse, Guillard kicked some ass. Not only did he earn a TKO victory, he also earned himself a title shot. Inside MMA had Justin Gaethje on recently, where he states he will KO Guillard. This should be one hell of a fight. Check out the interview here.
With a pro record of 32-13-2-(2), one would think Guillard would be close to retirement. The great thing about Melvin is he’s only 31 years old. He still has time to become WSOF lightweight champion. I have no doubt that Melvin can win the belt, and even make a UFC return. The only thing in his way, is the man in the mirror.
Do you have a fighter you want to see featured in Forgotten Warriors? I’m open to suggestions in the comments, or hit me up on Twitter.
Originally posted on MMAJam.ca