Over the last decade, we’ve seen many fighters enter the Octagon with much fanfare, only to wonder whatever happened to them just a few months later. It’s amazing to think we’ve been dealing with the ups and downs of Melvin “Young Assassin” Guillard for nearly eight years already. Guillard made his official UFC debut at the TUF 2 finale against Marcus Davis on Nov. 5, 2005. During his 20-fight tenure in the UFC, Guillard has compiled a record of 12-8.  Twice, Guillard has faced the dreaded three-fight losing streak, but he has adverted it each time.

Guillard’s career has been about as steady as which training camp he calls home.

Guillard launched into his UFC career with Greg Jackson, left Jackson’s MMA in 2011 and joined the Blackzilians shortly after. Just one year into his time with the Blackzilians, Guilard expressed interest in heading back to Jackson in New Mexico, only to be told that they’d rather not revisit training with him. Once Guillard was rebuffed by Jackson’s, he went with Team Grudge for a cup of coffee before landing with American Top Team recently.

The pace at which Guillard is changing teams is very symbolic of his UFC career. One fight, we are all led to believe Guillard is the next big thing in MMA. Years go by, and we are now reflecting upon another “what could have been” story.

Guillard’s best run in the UFC came between February 2010 and July 2011, a span in which he rattled off five wins in a row. Since then, he has a record of just 2-4. It’s not so much the losses that are discouraging for people on the outside looking in, it’s the way he loses. Whenever one goes to predict a fight involving Guillard, they would know that Guillard has still yet to figure out how to get out of a tough spot on the ground. If he loses, it will be in the first round via rear-naked choke. However, if Guillard is firing on all cylinders, he has the opportunity to be one of the most explosive fighters on any given night.

That’s what drives fans, the media and his coaches completely batty. They don’t know which Guillard is going to show up.

Prior to UFC 155, I was certain we were going to see Guillard start to take control of his own destiny and put together a string of victories. As soon as I saw him walking towards the Octagon acting like a frat boy who just started spring break, I knew his head wasn’t into the fight. What transpired shortly after was one of the worst performances of his career in a loss to Jamie Varner. After the fight, there were rumblings that Guillard would be cut, but ultimately he was given another shot and beat Mac Danzig in vintage “Young Assassin” form earlier this year with a second-round knockout.

Will Guillard build some momentum with this win? I believe so. There’s something about hitting 30 and being rejected by a former fight camp that should set Guillard straight. He has the skills to be one of the best, but once an athlete gets on the other side of 30 years old in professional sports, they start to hear the clock ticking on their career a bit louder.

The trendy thing as of late has been to fail inside the Octagon and get picked up by Bellator. Perhaps this is something that Guillard has in the back of his mind as something he can fall back on. Unless he can string together a few wins in a row, that’s exactly what will happen.

A focused and determined Guillard is about as dangerous of a combination as you’re going to find. But Guillard is also dangerous to himself. Laziness and bad decision-making has landed him in hot water in the past, including a failed drug test and an encounter with missing weight. He always seems to be carrying some sort of emotional baggage that prevents him from putting his best foot forward during training camp and inside the cage for the fight itself. We all reach a point in our career where we need a scare put into us before we right the ship.

I think it’s safe to say UFC 155 was that scare for Guillard.

We’ve been down this road before with other fighters, fighters who can’t seem to keep their head straight and repeatedly promise that each upcoming fight will be the new and improved version of themselves. The best is yet to come for Guillard. He’s with American Top Team, where he can develop more ground defense to complement his excellent boxing skills. He knows his leash is short with the UFC, and he needs to be great at all times.

Photo: Melvin Guillard (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

Joe Chacon
Staff Writer

Joe Chacon is a Southern California writer that has also spent time as a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, as well as a Staff Writer for Operation Sports. Joe has a passion for the sport of MMA, as well as most other sports.