Melvin Guillard is set to face off with Joe Lauzon at this weekend's UFC 136 event. Guillard is riding a five fight win streak and appears to be on his way to a title shot in the near future, provided he continues his winning ways. The need to grow from fight to fight is a part of becoming championship material, and that's why Melvin is training with Rashad Evans at Imperial Athletics, despite Evans' feud with Melvin's usual training grounds at Jackson's Mixed Martial Arts.
Guillard explained the situation to Sherdog:
"I know a lot of people look at it like, ‘How are you at Jackson's and you train with Rashad?' Well, Rashad's been like a brother to me since Season 2," Guillard told Sherodg.com. "Jon ... he's my boy, he's my teammate. I stay out of their beef, and I keep myself neutral to everything. For everybody that don't know, that's what it is. I still love Rashad like a brother, and I love Jon like a teammate. There are gonna be other times when I'm gonna go to Imperial, and I'm probably gonna train there again."
While Mike Winkeljohn, Guillard's striking coach at Jackson's MMA, was not necessarily pleased with the manner in which the 28-year-old was lured to Imperial Athletics, he supports his fighter's journey as it relates to learning new skills.
"You always care about them wanting to wheel and deal their way into your fighter's heart through offers or different things to make [him] work out with them," Winkeljohn said. "I just told Melvin, ‘You know what, go learn some new stuff.' I got no problem with it as long as he learns something, and he comes back and shows you what he learned -- because we don't know it all."
Guillard has the right approach with his "the coaches work for me" attitude. Allowing yourself to get tangled up in the "my camp thinks" and "my teammate says" nonsense and putting camp before self is a very strange epidemic in MMA. I'm glad to see Melvin take the right path and worry about himself before caring what Jon Jones, Rashad Evans and the Jackson's trainers think about each other.