Melvin Guillard has moved on from his time training under coach Greg Jackson and has relocated to Florida to work full time with the Blackzilian squad in preparation for his UFC on FX bout with Jim Miller.
The move was somewhat shocking and even curious after Guillard raved about his time with Jackson, where he said on numerous occasions that he believed he was becoming a true and complete fighter for the first time in his long career.
Guillard first started working with the Blackzilian team for a few weeks prior to his October 2011 bout against Joe Lauzon, and while he suffered a loss in that bout, he decided that ultimately he’d be happier in Florida training with the new squad.
Many wonder why the shift had to happen now? What went wrong at Jackson’s?
Well, to hear Melvin Guillard tell it, there was no bad blood, no dramatic reason behind it. It was just time to move on.
“Both camps are great, both sets of coaches are awesome. It’s just a decision I had to make for myself professionally. Did I want to split the time? Yeah, I did, but it’s kind of like trying to work for Exxon and work for Shell. You won’t be able to split your time between both. Cause both of those companies wouldn’t allow it,” Guillard told MMAWeekly Radio recently.
“So it came to one of those points in my life where I had to make a grown-up decision. Kind of an executive decision, and this is the decision I made.”
The biggest point that Guillard wants to convey as he finishes up his first full training camp with the Blackzilians is he has no hard feelings towards Jackson’s or about the time he spent there. As a matter of fact, Guillard is hopeful that if he ever needed to call on them again, they’d still have his back.
“I didn’t leave Jackson’s in a bad way. I love those coaches to death, love that team, and if anything ever occurs and I have to go back to Jackson’s, I hope I’m still welcome, because I didn’t leave in the wrong way,” Guillard said.
“One thing my mother taught me when I was a kid growing up ‘you never leave home bad because you never know when you might need to come back through that door.’ I hope the coaches there and the team there still love for me and care for me the way they did when I was performing for them.”
Guillard believes sometimes people get too wrapped up in the coaching situation in MMA. He loves all of his coaches, past and present, but this was the right decision for him at this point in his career.
“As fighters we have to make the decision who’s going to get us ready to take us to that next level. At the end of the day, all this hype about which coach is better than who, at the end of the day we’re the ones in there doing the job. We’re the ones that have to get in there and bust our butts. All they can do is give direction and make things go from there,” said Guillard.
With his main event fight against Jim Miller just days away after spending the last several weeks with the Blackzilian team and their coaching staff, does he believe that he made the right choice?
“It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time for myself.”