When you talk about a fight with the potential to be one of the best Lightweight fights of the year, you're speaking the language of the Melvin Guillard-Jeremy Stephens fight at UFC 119 this Saturday.
What you're dealing with here are two fighters who have some good knockout power in their hands, and you're also dealing with two fighters who have been up and down in their UFC careers as far as wins are concerned.
Now, you would think that the training camp that Melvin Guillard is with,the Greg Jackson camp, would be enough to say that he'll be the better wrestler and the better striker in the fight, right?
Not if you're asking me, he ain't.
None for nothing, I do respect Guillard and his style, and I like that now that he's a Greg Jackson boy, he's not going ape-nuts crazy trying to finish the fight all the time.
Even still, that doesn't mean he's not still the type to come out swinging like a rabid axe-man, and that's the type of guy you don't want to be when you fight Stephens.
He's the more cool-headed, collected, and focused fighter from the way I see the fight, and if Guillard thinks coming out like a madman will be his ticket to getting a "W", he's wrong (unless he sees himself landing a wild knee in the first four seconds of the fight).
As far as the Wrestling of Guillard goes, Stephens will have to stay as active as he can off of his back.
He isn't BJ Penn when he's on his back, and I'm certain Guillard knows this and thus may feel as though he will enjoy three rounds of top control, but it's tough to control a guy like Stephens on the ground for very long.
Stephens will need to keep it that way if he wants any hope of surviving The Young Assassin, thus it would be wise for him to scramble his way back onto the feet if he should somehow get taken down.
He may also try catching Guillard with a well-timed shot to either the dome or the chin whenever he shoots in for a takedown, but I don't see Guillard just handing Stephens that type of chance.
Of course, if Stephens can get Guillard to the ground himself, then he's in good shape.
The key for Stephens, as one would expect to be the case for any fight between two fast-paced, aggressive fighters, is for Stephens to be the one that pushes the pace of the fight no matter where he wants to take it.
He's going to have to make Guillard bring out that "wreckless abandon" style that has disappeared recently in order to get him to make a mistake, and once Melvin makes one wrong move, it's curtains for Guillard,
Everyone knows that Stephens can come from anywhere with anything from a left hook to a right uppercut at anytime, and for Lil Heathen to beat Guillard, he may have to hit The Young Assassin the way an assassin hits his victims best:
Always when the victim least expects it.