Following Melvin Guillard's loss against Jim Miller at the UFC on FX event, I saw a lot of "Melvin Guillard is wasting his potential" discussions.
I beg the question, why do we think he's wasting it? Is it possible for people to think Guillard isn't as good as we think he is or want him to be?
I'll start off by first examining Guillard's record. Looking over it, you'll see Guillard has only defeated three upper-level, talented lightweights.
His win against Gleison Tibau was by way of split decision (and also occurred in 2009), and his victory against Dennis Siver could be disputed by Siver's move to 145 pounds. You could also say Siver wasn't the same fighter in 2007, as he compiled a 1-3 record en route to being released by the UFC.
So, that just leaves his bout against Evan Dunham as his lone victory over a higher-level, talented fighter.
It seems as though Guillard has lost sight of what helped turn his career around—a move to Jackson's MMA. Guillard has switched over to the Imperial Athletics camp, and while there are a handful of good fighters in that gym, it's clear that Rashad Evans is their "top dog."
The argument of staying at Jackson's versus leaving is up for debate, but regardless of where Guillard trains, it's clear that he isn't going to break into the "title-contender" echelon of lightweights in the UFC.
He's one of the most explosive fighters in the game and has unparalleled athleticism. He has the KO power in his hands and is always one second away from ending a fight.
But, it's clear that all those traits aren't enough to make Guillard a top-level fighter. Every time he gets close, there's always someone there to knock him off the ladder.
Instead of focusing on why Guillard is wasting his talent, we should realize that this is the best Guillard will be.
Yes, he has the time to turn around his career, as he's only 28 years old. But if he hasn't reached his peak potential by his 42nd career bout, what makes us think he's going to do it now?
It's a shame to see Guillard not be able to transfer his physical tools into technique, but that just doesn't seem like it's possible for him right now.
Just as Jackson's MMA resurrected Guillard's career, perhaps he will find his second wind and own up to all the potential MMA fans have placed upon him.
Until then, stop thinking he should be fighting for a world title and enjoy the ride.
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