Melvin Guillard on ‘personal’ problems with WSOF: I’d rather fight in the UFC and never be champ

Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Melvin Guillard believes he is a difficult position as a lightweight fighter. He was far from…

By: Karim Zidan | 9 years ago
Melvin Guillard on ‘personal’ problems with WSOF: I’d rather fight in the UFC and never be champ
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Melvin Guillard believes he is a difficult position as a lightweight fighter. He was far from satisfied with his contract in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but now that he has dipped his toes in other promotions like the World Series of Fighting, he considers the UFC to be the lesser of two evils.

The issues began last November, when Guillard was scheduled to challenge Jusin Gaethje for the promotion’s lightweight strap. Ahead of the contest, Guillard failed to make weight, and was forced to surrender 50% of his purse and contest a non-title bout.

He went on to lose a split decision to Gaethje, but is still not convinced he lost the fight.

“I mean to be honest I still think I won that fight, but when you miss you weight and you don’t finish the champion, of course it can go in his favour,” Guillard told Submission Radio. “The only thing I did wrong was not finish.”

“I’m the better athlete, you know what I mean? I just wasn’t in the best shape I should have been in. I had trouble making weight. So all those things played a factor, and then when I missed weight and I wasn’t fighting for the title, I was already mentally beat anyway. You know what I mean? And on top of that, I let them take 50 percent of my purse. So technically speaking I shouldn’t have even gotten in the ring, but on top of that, you know after I agreed to take the fight, Ali [Abdelaziz] the promoter for World Series, he promised me a fight like a lot sooner. I was supposed to fight in February and then he kind of reneged on that.”

According to Guillard, this is when things became personal: the lightweight chose to fight that Saturday night to save WSOF from an expected ratings collapse, but was disappointed to find that the promotion was not willing to follow through on their end of the bargain.

“Al Abdul Aziz kind of reneged on some of his promises and it’s funny, they never answer their phone when I need to talk to them, but yet when they want me to do interviews and they want something from me, they want to try and force me to do it. So there’s a lot of things in the company that I’m not happy about, and I’m the type of person [that] I’m always going to speak my mind, and there’s already other places that want to sign me. So I’m gonna go in this fight next week, I’m going to fight my ass off.

“I’m going to win this fight impressively so that way I have options; I have choices, because ultimately, I’m going back to the UFC anyway.”

With very little interest in continuing his career in WSOF, Guillard plans to leave with the necessary leverage to secure a contract with a promotion he actually wants to fight for.

“I’m going to let them know how I feel, for when you fuck over Melvin Guillard and not give him what he asked for after he swallows his pride, and takes a fight, and lets them take 50 percent; and I still fight for them, I still give them a good show [in] that last fight, even though I didn’t make weight and fight for the title; but yet the fact that Ali didn’t man up and follow his promise, you know right now it’s a little bit personal to me.”

Given his recent troubles with WSOF, Guillard would happily settle for a comfortable slot in the lightweight ranks. He many never get to challenge for a title or become a champion, but at least he feels he will complete the twilight of his career where he belongs.

“To be honest, instead of being the World Series of Fighting champion I’d rather be in the UFC just fighting in the top 10 and probably never becoming the UFC world champion, if I had that option. If I had the option to be the World Series champion right now, or go back to the UFC to finish off my career with the UFC, whether I get a title shot or not, I would take that UFC contract over a World Series [contract] any day.”

Transcription taken from Submission Radio.

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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