If you received a dime for every time you heard someone question if the “Old Vitor” or “New Vitor” would be stepping in to the Octagon, you would probably have a couple rolls of dimes in your pocket right now. After what we all witnessed Friday night, we may be hearing the same thing said whenever lightweight Melvin Guillard gets ready to step inside the cage.

Leading in to his fight against Joe Lauzon at UFC 136, Guillard was being touted as one of the biggest — if not the biggest — threat to the lightweight title holder. However, the hype-train that was chugging Guillard up the lightweight rankings got derailed after he was submitted by Lauzon with a rear-naked choke less than a minute into the first round.

During the UFC’s inaugural broadcast on FX, Guillard had the opportunity to get his hype-train back on the tracks when he faced Jim Miller. Guillard mounted some good offense early in the fight and even had Miller hurt early on. However, Miller was able to survive the early onslaught and submit Guillard with a (you guessed it) rear-naked choke just a little over two minutes into the first round.

After their recent performances, the similarities between Belfort and Guillard are becoming more and more apparent. There is no questioning that both fighters are among the hardest-hitting in their respective divisions. When they are on top of their game, they both are seemingly indestructible. If they catch their opponent early, odds are the fight will be over in a hurry.

The problem is if they cannot end the fight early, they both seem to suffer from mental lapses that cause them to not perform up to the level they are capable of. Or, to put it even more simply, they appear to give up.

Both Belfort and Guillard have been on the cusp of getting a shot at the title. In Belfort’s case, he has had multiple chances at light heavyweight and middleweight to fight for the title. He technically won the light heavyweight title after Randy Couture suffered a cut to his eyelid early in their UFC 46 bout, only to turn around and lose the title back to Couture in a very lop-sided affair. We do not need to go in to what happened when he faced off against Anderson Silva for the middleweight strap, do we?

Guillard, on the other hand, inches his way towards the top, then falters just as it seems a title shot could be in his future. After losing to Nate Diaz at Ultimate Fight Night 19, Guillard went on to win his next five fights, taking out the likes of Shane Roller and Evan Dunham during that time. Should he have defeated Lauzon, a title shot would have not been out of the question. But after losing to Lauzon and Miller, one now must wonder if Guillard will be fighting for his job in his next fight.

For his sake, hopefully the “Old Guillard” shows up the next time he steps inside the Octagon.

This piece was authored by Jason Schielke. You can find Jason on Twitter: @JasonSchielke

About The Author

The MMA Corner Staff

Your home for all things MMA. News, Interviews, Event Coverage, Editorials. If it is MMA related, you will find it on The MMA Corner.