It didn’t take long for Melvin Guillard to find a new home.
The longtime UFC lightweight, who was released by the promotion in March, has signed with World Series of Fighting. Terms were not disclosed, but both the promotion and fighter announced the new deal late Monday via Twitter.
“Just signed with WSOF,” Guillard posted on his Twitter account. “it feeling good to be apart of something different its time to make some real money and get that belt.”
The 30-year-old “Young Assassin” was released by the UFC following a performance that earned heavy criticism from UFC President Dana White.
Guillard, who originally joined the UFC in 2005 after appearing on the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” finished his UFC career with a 12-9 record.
This past month, Guillard (31-13-2) met Michael Johnson in UFC Fight Night 37's co-main event. After the March 8 event in London, where Guillard suffered a listless unanimous-decision loss, White wouldn’t say if Guillard would be released, but he was critical of the performance.
“There’s no doubt Melvin ran the entire fight and was incredibly passive, the complete opposite of how he used to fight,” White said. “There was a lot of smack talk leading up to that fight, and those are the fights that everybody gets excited about, and nine times out of 10 they end up like tonight. Those drive me crazy. I was excited for that fight. I thought (they were) both really explosive athletes who can mix it up really well, and it just didn’t happen tonight.”
But now Guillard will look to put that behind him with WSOF, where he said on Twitter he hopes to make a run at the lightweight title. That belt currently is held by Justin Gaethje, and he is expected to defend it in July against Nick Newell.
No first fight for Guillard has been announced, though WSOF said he’ll likely be thrown right into action. So WSOF on July 11 could be a distinct possibility. That event, along with the Gaethje-Newell title fight, also features new welterweight champ Rousimar Palhares vs. Jon Fitch for the 170-pound belt and Tyrone Spong against a to-be-determined opponent. Spong and Guillard briefly were teammates at the Blackzilians camp in South Florida.
Guillard’s nine-year run in the UFC saw him win three “Knockout of the Night” bonuses, as well as many highlight-reel performances. Guillard’s best run began in 2008, when he won eight of nine fights (including victories over Dennis Siver, Gleison Tibau, Jeremy Stephens and Evan Dunham) that put him in the thick of the UFC lightweight title picture. But a 47-second submission loss to Joe Lauzon, followed by a main-event submission defeat to Jim Miller, spoiled his run. The back-to-back losses also commenced his current skid, which includes just two wins (and one no-contest) in his past eight fights.
But Guillard left his mark on the UFC’s 155-pound class. He departed with the third most wins, most knockdowns and most knockouts in UFC lightweight history.
For more on WSOF’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.