Jumping from one Florida team to another has been beneficial, according to Melvin Guillard.
Formerly with the Blackzilians, Guillard moved to American Top Team and found a mix of sparring partners that over the past year have helped him in his run through the UFC lightweight division. He found some of the same in training with the Blackzilians, but there were a few bad eggs that didn’t sit well with Guillard.
Namely, Michael Johnson.
“Let’s get this straight. Me and Michael Johnson were never really friends. We were just training partners. Let’s straighten that out right there,” Guillard told The Great MMA Debate Podcast when discussing his UFC London opponent.
“We never hung out, we never shot marbles together, we didn’t go out and eat dinner or nothing like that. I only saw him at the gym, and after that, I went my way and he went his way. I never really cared for him as a person. I think he’s a good fighter, but as a person, when you move your friend out here and then throw your friend under the bus and get him get him kicked off the team. I think that’s [expletive] as a friend. How could you call yourself a friend?”
Guillard wouldn’t reveal the name of the fighter Johnson allegedly treated so poorly, but said he is currently a teammate at American Top Team.
The attitude put out by Johnson is something Guillard considers disingenuous. Basically, Johnson is doing what the Diaz brothers would call “selling wolf tickets.”
“I think he’s just one of those guys who grew up scared of people and then learned how to fight somewhere along the way,” Guillard said. “I can look right through that kid. He ain’t no gangster, that’s for sure.”
Guillard wouldn’t completely put Johnson down, however, saying that the two had competitive sparring sessions during their time together as Blackzilians. They would always try to knock each other out, Guillard said, and coaches would constantly have to separate them.
But the bottom line, according to Guillard, is that he’s simply the better fighter.
“If I had to say who got the better of each other, about 80 percent of the time I knew I got the best of him,” he said. “I got more experience, I’m the better fighter, I’m the stronger fighter, I’m the faster fighter, and I got knockout power. Mike’s been rallying up some wins lately, but I’m any fighter’s … kryptonite. Nobody wants to fight me. In the back of his mind, he’s probably, like, ‘Damn, I really have to fight Melvin Guillard?’ I’m just going to call it like that. I’ll say that to any fighter. I’m not an easy fight for anybody.”
Guillard added that there were good parts about being a Blackzilian, specifically training with striking coach Henry Hooft. But even so, Guillard said he’s happier to be with Coconut Creek, Fla.-based American Top Team.
Being away from a training center full of what Guillard said was “bad mojo” is something he’s grateful for.
“There’s just a lot of bad vibes around that place and I’m glad I’m not a part of it,” he said.
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