Melvin Guillard's back is against the wall. That wall is the door to the exit from the UFC.
Guillard has lost two fights in a row after seemingly being close to a potential title fight one year ago. Now, at UFC 148, he finds himself on the preliminary card against Fabricio Camoes.
This is a must-win fight. There is no doubt about it.
You don't hear athletes or professional franchises admit that one contest is a must-win, despite everybody knowing that it is. But when you hear those respected people say that it is, it only magnifies the position that they are truly in.
Guillard is in a real bad position. According to Damon Martin of MMAWeekly, Guillard thinks this is a must-win:
Going into this fight off two losses, I feel like this is a must win fight for me. I’m not thinking about the title, I’m not thinking about who I’m going to fight next, I’m thinking about who’s in front of me.
Another loss and Guillard could be completely on the outside looking in:
I think I perform best when my back’s against the wall. I didn’t get the phone call and nothing was said to me, but in my mind it’s one of those things where you have to go out and win because if you don’t win it could be your last fight in the UFC. Joe Silva can cut you for a while; you can have to go fight somewhere else.
Guillard is feeling the pressure of the intense UFC protocol for matchmaking. Dana White and matchmaker Joe Silva determine whether or not fighters will be participating in matches. Your performance in the octagon will be the ultimate factor in the end result.
Right now, Guillard isn't cutting it. He needs to get back to the basics: concentration, game plan, reactions and execution. If he can do these four things, his lifeline in the UFC will last at least another fight.
If he can't seal the deal, this could be the last time you ever see him in the UFC.
Must win? That's an understatement.