Melvin Guillard is gunning for a fight and his sights are targeted on one person: Joe Lauzon.
Guillard and Lauzone met last year at UFC 136, and the end result was Lauzon snatching a rear naked choke and finishing the fight early in the first round.
Now, the former Ultimate Fighter season 2 cast member is fired up after reading some comments from Lauzon as he prepared for his fight at UFC 144 in Japan against Anthony Pettis.
“Lately on my Twitter some posts have been popping up and I’m like what the hell is this? So I’m looking and next thing I know it’s people talking about Joe Lauzon hit the nail on the head, he was right, so I went in and read the article and all of a sudden he’s blasting me talking about he slapped me and he choked me out, and Melvin’s going around telling everybody I got lucky,” Guillard told MMAWeeekly.com on Wednesday.
“I never said the dude got lucky. I said it was a good fight, I always gave Joe Lauzon the respect that was due, and I thought he was the better guy that day. Did I think the fight was a fluke on my part? Yeah, the fight was a fluke on my part, but I never took anything from him. So I guess he misinterpreted what I said.”
Misinterpreted or not, Guillard is now angry at the fact that Lauzon is coming after him in the press, and so he’s firing back.
“The new me, I’m trying to be respectful and handle it the right way, but at this point right now I’m kind of fed up with it. The old me is about to come out on Joe Lauzon. He’s about to take Rich Clementi’s place of being that guy that I just don’t like,” Guillard said.
“I’m sitting here and I’m being a good sport about my losses. The Jim Miler fight, Jim Miller had nothing bad to say, he said nothing but great things about me, he respected my skills and I respected his. For me, I feel disrespected because I’ve done nothing but talk Joe Lauzon up, even when a lot of interviews and fight analysts were still not giving him the credit that was due saying that 9 out of 10 times he would win that once, and I would win the other nine. So people were bashing him and it wasn’t even me, and I’m standing up for him saying that Joe Lauzon is a top competitor, he can be in the top five, top ten or whatever. Now he’s blasting out at me and I have not said anything bad towards Joe Lauzon.”
Guillard clarified his comments about the fight with Lauzon, looking back in a reflective manner to point the finger at his own undoing. He says it wasn’t about disrespecting Lauzon’s skills, but taking responsibility for what he did wrong on that day.
“When I talked about our fight I talked about how I made mistakes and because of my mistakes he capitalized,” Guillard stated. “That’s what this game is about, that’s what this sport is about. When two guys are paired in equal styles and Joe Silva makes those matches, I don’t see myself coming in and bulldozing anybody in my division. I respect all these guys at 155, even the newcomers. Even if you have a little bit of fight in you, you’re a tough guy, and I respect that.”
The damage is done however in Guillard’s mind so he’s got one mission right now and it’s to get a rematch with Joe Lauzon to prove what kind of fighter he truly is.
“In the 10 losses I have in my MMA career, I haven’t rematched anyone I’ve lost to. Not once, I’ve never really cared for rematches because I felt they won, now I’ll move on. Right now, I’m at the point where this fight means something to me, I have something to prove against Joe Lauzon, so this is a rematch I’m asking for,” said Guillard.
Guillard will be watching UFC 144 with a special interest in the fight between Joe Lauzon and Anthony Pettis because to put it bluntly, he wants Lauzon to lose and then fight him later this year.
“Right now, I’m looking to watch the fights in Japan and I’m praying that he loses to (Anthony) Pettis because I want a rematch against Joe Lauzon. I don’t want to fight nobody next but Joe Lauzon,” Guillard said.
“I don’t even care how it goes, I just want to see Pettis win and I want an immediate rematch with Joe Lauzon. Hopefully, I can get that rematch by fourth of July in Vegas.”
If Guillard doesn’t get his wish to face Lauzon for his next fight, he’s ready to prove that he’s still an elite lightweight against whoever the unlucky foe happens to be.
The New Orleans native has been working tirelessly with his new team at the Blackzilians to shore up his jiu-jitsu game, and become a more complete fighter. Guillard promises when he comes back, he’s not asking for respect any longer.
He’s going to take respect by any means necessary.
“I hope it happens but if it don’t, I feel sorry for whoever I fight next. I can still be the good Melvin, the good ambassador for the sport, but a little part of the old me is starting to want to come out. I’m tired of just being nice to these guys, I try to be nice, not befriend them, but be nice and respectful when I see them around. I feel like I’m being slapped in the face being that guy,” Guillard said.
“So I guess if I want respect from the fighters, I’m going to have to go get it.”
One thing that Guillard does want to make perfectly clear however is that despite his change in demeanor and attitude towards opponents in the cage, his behavior outside the cage won’t be affected.
Throughout his career, Guillard has battled personal demons and he’s gone through many changes to exorcise them over the past few years. If the old Melvin Guillard is back, it’s only about his fighting style, not in what he’ll be doing outside the Octagon.
“For the record, I’m not going to go out there and start acting like a dumbass, and acting stupid outside the cage. I’m still going to be the ambassador for the sport that I was destined to be, but when it comes to other fighters, I don’t care. I’m not their friend. I’m not going to be anyone’s friend,” Guillard said emphatically.
“But all this being friends and being nice to the guys that I’m going to fight, to hell with that. I’m going to have to strike fear into the hearts of all the 155’ers. Anybody who thinks they’re going to catch my back again and choke me out, they’ve got another thing coming.”