If Melvin Guillard was looking to make a statement in the lightweight division, he just put an exclamation point on things by absolutely blasting through Evan Dunham on his way to a first round TKO at the UFC Fight for the Troops show Saturday night.
No one has ever questioned the raw talent that Melvin Guillard brought to the table, even in his early UFC days as a member of the “Ultimate Fighter” season 2. What Guillard has managed to do over the last couple of years is add onto his maturity and preparation, which has led to the current run he’s on.
He showed that off once again, taking out a top ten level fighter in Evan Dunham.
In the early going, Guillard showed off his striking prowess and quickness, tagging Dunham with a straight right that floored the Oregon native. Knowing that a stand-up battle was probably the worst idea in a fight with a guy like Guillard, Dunham quickly scrambled and managed to get the fight to the ground.
Without a moment of panic in his eyes, Guillard calmly worked his way back to his feet and then started to pummel away at Dunham with peppering shots that forced him to back out and back into Guillard’s world.
It was the beginning of the end at that point.
Guillard again attacked with controlled aggression, before landing a devastating knee strike from within the clinch that ended with Dunham rattled and leaning against the cage for support. The New Orleans native followed up with another big knee as Dunham slumped to the side.
“Hey I think that should be named after me now, huh Coach Wink?” Guillard said to his coach Mike Winkeljohn about his combination to end the fight. “It’s a secret I can’t tell y’all, y’all just gotta watch for it.”
Guillard stayed on the attack and actually threw a knee while Dunham was already down, but upon further review he didn’t actually connect, and the referee rushed in for the stoppage.
While Guillard has been impressive lately, the win over Dunham puts him in serious contention in the lightweight division. He said before the fight that he was done asking for a title shot, and now Melvin Guillard just backed that up.
“I want my title shot. I’m the dark horse in this game at 55,” Guillard said following his win. “No disrespect to anybody at my weight class, but I am the best 155lber in the UFC. You know what, I don’t want to wait till a rematch, so you keep lining them up, I’ll keep knocking them down.
“I will go undefeated in 2011, and I will get a title shot before the end of this year or no later than 2012, I promise you that.”