Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Melvin Guillard was close to getting a shot at the lightweight title before getting derailed by Joe Lauzon at UFC 136.
After struggling against high-level grapplers in his early UFC career, Melvin turned things around, putting together a five fight winning streak. Melvin was the favorite going into the UFC 136 fight against Lauzon, but the Louisiana native ended up losing the fight in 47 seconds.
“It was not sticking to a solid plan of taking somebody apart,” Melvin’s trainer Greg Jackson said on the “Savage Dog Show.” [Melvin was] just kind of trying to finish it with one big shot. You need to learn those lessons. You need to learn those lessons early on. I think that with Melvin, he was doing very, very well hitting everybody and hurting them. The big puncher can kind of fall in love with the punching power, and I think Melvin learned a valuable lesson and is going to come back stronger for it.”
Melvin didn’t seem completely focused coming into the fight against Lauzon, obviously expecting an easy victory. In the short time the fight remained standing, Melvin seemed like the superior striker, until a left from Lauzon stunned the rising lightweight MMA fighter.
Melvin didn’t really stick to basics when he faced Lauzon at UFC 136, and it ended up costing him a potential shot at the UFC’s lightweight title.
At 28 Melvin has more than enough time to make another run at the UFC’s lightweight title, and I won’t be surprised to see him put on an impressive performance in his next MMA fight.
Melvin still has a long way to go when it comes to the submission game. The fight against Lauzon was meant to determine where Melvin was in terms of his submission defense, and he wasn’t able to pass the test.
Melvin has the tools needed to reach the top of the UFC’s lightweight division, if he decides to truly commit himself to working on his few weaknesses.