Jamie Varner edged Melvin Guillard for a split decision (30-27 x 2, 27-30) on the UFC 155 FX prelims. After originally being dropped by Zuffa in the WEC merger, Varner (21-7-1, 2 NC) is now 2-1 his most recent UFC run. Guillard (30-12-2, 1 NC) has been on a consistently bad run recently and dropped to 12-8 as a UFC Lightweight.
The two went back and forth throughout their 15 minute fight. Guillard established a powerful leg kick early and used it in all the rounds, but it didn't seem to take anything off Varner's movement. The first round was even until the last minutes when Varner landed a nice flurry that had Guillard on his heels. The second round was even as well and highlighted by Guillard throwing Varner off his back like a grown ass man. The final round featured some of the best scrambles, escapes, and reversals I can remember in a single fight. For as much as the fight went to and fro, Varner probably deserved a UD and the 30-27 for Guillard is insane judging.
What was the high point of the fight?
The scrambles that ended the fight. Melvin hurt Jamie with a knee and ended up in top sprawl position. Varner lifted him up with Guillard hanging upside down on his back and sat right down to spike Melvin's head. The bell ended with Guillard holding a scissor choke. If only this fight had another minute on the clock..
Where do they go from here?
For someone who was released with the closing of the WEC, Varner has been raising a lot of eyebrows in 2012. Now with hype-killing TKO, a fight of the night, and a top 20 win under his belt, Varner has proven himself in the upper middle tier of the Lightweight division.
The last 14 months have not been good to Guillard. In that time he's gone a disappointing 1-4 in his last five fights. That's a far cry from being on the cusp of contendership when he faced Joe Lauzon at UFC 136. Between his veteran status and exciting style he probably won't be cut, but he needs to make adjustments to stick around after his next fight.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Watch it now. It definitely gets off to a slow start, but you won't be disappointed after watching the fight through.