Long before the two top middleweights stepped into the Octagon, though, Melvin "The Young Assassin" Guillard squared off against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Fabricio Camoes in a lightweight bout.
I expected blood, Camoes' blood to be specific.
I expected punches, kicks, knees and that devastating athleticism we have come to love Melvin Guillard for always putting on display.
On the flip side, I somewhat expected to see Melvin Guillard tapping out at some point in the bout. It is no secret that the weakest area of his game is his submission defense and that is Camoes' bread and butter.
I got none of that.
Guillard stuck and moved, jabbing and leg kicking, avoiding takedowns and throwing the occasional haymaker to no avail.
Camoes, conversely, had takedown after takedown stuffed, and when he did finally get the fight on the mat, he did not even threaten a submission on "The Young Assassin."
Guillard mailed this performance in, folks. Plain and simple.
When the matchup was announced, a sly smile came across my face as I pictured a vintage performance from Guillard.
Say what you will about the Sisqo look-alike, Guillard is a beast and he hits with a fury and accuracy almost unmatched in the lightweight division.
When Camoes, a fighter who is subpar on the feet, was matched up with Melvin, I was already penning in the "knockout of the night" bonus in Guillard's name.
So what was up with what we saw?
The entire fight, I was waiting and waiting for Guillard to unleash, waiting for him to explode.
He never did.
In a method not unlike Clay Guida's recent performance against Gray Maynard, Guillard seemed content to outpoint Camoes, and that is unfair to the fans and unfair to himself.
He is better than that.
Camoes had no business being in the Octagon with him and Guillard let him off the hook. Camoes should still be sore and writhing in pain, cursing Guillard's name today, but he was instead unscathed and unharmed.
I understand that Guillard may have been afraid about dropping another fight under the UFC banner, thus risking his position within the promotion, but completely discarding your greatest skill set is disappointing and disgraceful.
Mr. Guillard, you did the fans, yourself and your coaches a disservice in this fight. Please get back to your old aggressive ways, and, win or lose, I will forget this ever happened.
A disappointed fan.
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