Following a disappointing 2015 in which he lost his only bout and then missed time due to injury, veteran lightweight Melvin Guillard is anticipating a fresh start in 2016.
“I had a rocky year last year, but right now everything is good,” Guillard told MMAWeekly.com. “My focus is where it needs to be and I’m having fun again, so I have no complaints right now.
“I haven’t had any major injuries in my career other than breaking my hand. I’m happy now to finally have my hand healthy like it needs to be. Last year I only really got to fight once, so I’m looking forward to the future.”
Guillard’s excitement for the coming year is combined with the fact that he feels he’ll be able to have the kind of activity level that will help bring some stability to his personal life.
“It’s about putting my wife and me in a position to be financially stable by the time I’m done fighting,” said Guillard. “I have an opportunity to make some money in the next couple years. I’m excited just to compete.
“I want make the most of the rest of my career. This is my dream. And it’s better than being stuck behind a desk working nine to five. Honestly, I’m just reaching my prime. Right now are the good years for me. On top of that, I’m way more mature and am making better decisions.”
Guillard (32-15-2) will look to pick up his first win in more than a year and a half when he faces Derek Campos (15-6) on Friday in Houston, Texas, at Bellator 149. Guillard and Campos are in a featured lightweight bout on the card headlined by the trilogy bout between MMA pioneers Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie.
“I’ve got to go in there and fight my fight like I always do,” said Guillard of facing Campos. “I’ve been working a lot on my wrestling and ground game. I’m steadily continuing on with my striking. My hand is better now than before I broke it.
Nearly 15 years and 50 fights into his career, Guillard is just now feeling like he’s hitting his stride. Healthy again, his eyes are set on one goal: win the Bellator lightweight title.
“Right now, I want to be a champion,” said Guillard. “I feel like right now is my time.
“I get encouraged every day and have a lot of fans who support me through everything. If they believe in me, I’ve got to believe in me, and with my hand healthy, there’s no doubts in my mind. I’m pretty sure I’ll be a world champion when the opportunity is presented to me.”