If there’s one thing that Melvin Guillard learned from his last fight with Joe Lauzon, it’s that he needs to exert more patience.
With a title shot just one fight away, Guillard rushed into his bout with Lauzon and got caught by the crafty Massachusetts fighter, and quickly submitted early in the first round.
The loss stung Guillard pretty hard in the beginning, but ultimately he used it as a learning lesson on what he needed to fix, and what he needed to start fighting for.
Guillard now says that while his long-term goal is still to reach the pinnacle of the sport and take home the UFC lightweight title, it’s no longer his only goal. Something he learned from a former champion in the sport.
“It’s funny how you learn from people that you least expect it. Eddie Alvarez came down and helped me out for this camp, and he’s the former Bellator champion, and just talking with Eddie, this kid gave me so much wisdom. He just gave me a different perspective on the title,” Guillard revealed when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.
“He’s like ‘the title’s just the title, it’s nothing really there.’ Yeah it changes your life, but you also have a lot of things that changes with it, and I’m not going to sit here and say I don’t want a title shot, because that’s not what I’m saying. I just feel like there’s more important things in life right now for Melvin instead of the title right this minute.”
For months prior to his fight with Lauzon, Guillard screamed to the heavens that he was already the No. 1 lightweight and he was ready to claim the title as soon as he could earn the shot.
Following the loss to Lauzon and the words he heard from Alvarez, a new perspective opened up for Guillard, who now just focuses on the opponent he has in front of him, and nothing else.
He knows to get to the top of the sport you have to climb through every tough challenger, and every one that wants to claim the throne.
“I want to make sure I can win that title and be amongst the elite, like the GSPs, the Anderson Silvas, the Matt Hugheses, the guys that had the belt and dominated the sport for decades. Guys like that, that’s where I want to be set in my life,” said Guillard.
“I need a fight like Jim Miller, like Ben Henderson, to test myself to see if I really belong up there with the top elite.”
So heading into his UFC on FX 1 main event bout with Jim Miller, Guillard isn’t looking at this fight as a No. 1 contender’s match-up, or some sort of lightweight elimination fight. He’s looking at Jim Miller as the guy he’s facing on Jan. 20, that’s it and that’s all.
“In the beginning, I wanted this fight because I knew beating a guy like Jim would put me right in title contention, but my whole perspective about the title has changed. Yeah, I had a minor setback with Joe Lauzon, but we’re both coming off a loss by two really good guys in that division, that’s the nature of the beast,” said Guillard.
“I think this is an even better opportunity because we’re both coming off two good losses to two great guys, we both get to headline the first FX card, we both get to fight in the great city of Nashville, and more than anything the fans get to have a fight that they’ve been waiting for a long time for.”
What the fans are looking forward to is a barn burner of a match-up between two exciting lightweights, and that’s all Guillard wants to deliver.
“To me fighting Jim Miller, it’s not about getting to that next level. I already feel I’m at that next level, I’ve proven myself over and over again. I just have to go in there and execute next weekend and give the fans a great fight,” Guillard stated.
“Not just a good fight, a great fight.”