LAS VEGAS – Melvin Guillard is perhaps the most confounding fighter in mixed martial arts. He's a powerful striker, he's got a great chin (his KO loss to Donald Cerrone at UFC 150 notwithstanding) and he's as dynamic athletically as anyone in the sport.

It's confounding, though, to see a guy win five in a row and inching ever so close to a title shot to all of a sudden lose three out of four and be stopped in the first round in all of those.

But if you're a fight fan, here's a piece of advice: Don't try to figure out Melvin Guillard. Just enjoy him.

Guillard is perhaps Exhibit A in the Dana White model of favoring performance over results. The UFC president has repeatedly said he prefers fighters who, you know, actually fight rather than those who play it safe and try to score a points win.

The lightweight contender, who meets Jamie Varner on Saturday at the Hard Rock in what he vows will be the best match of "The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale," may occasionally shock but will never bore.

[Also: Ratings wins in key demographics at UFC on Fox 5 thrills Dana White]

Whether he's on the winning end or the losing end, jaws usually drop during a Guillard fight.

"I don't go out there to play around," Guillard said. "I go out there to fight."

He's been repeatedly accused of recklessness and of not being able to maintain his emotions in order to win when it matters most. He had won five in a row heading into UFC 136 in Houston last year, where he was favored to beat Joe Lauzon.

Lauzon, though, beat Guillard in less than a minute, hitting him with a counter left and then submitting him.

That loss, coupled with subsequent defeats to Jim Miller and Cerrone have left him far from the title picture.

Perhaps, though, it's not fair to Guillard to judge him in a traditional manner. And despite 44 fights, Guillard is still only 29 and still growing as a fighter.

He doesn't want to be distracted at this point from doing what is important to him – putting on a show that will bring the fans out of their seats – so he brushes aside any and all talk about the title.

He doesn't, he says, have a plan on how to get back into contention. He's not concerned about anything beyond an electrifying battle with Varner.

"You know, this fight should be the main event," he said. "It's the real main event in my opinion. We are going to go at it, believe me."

Varner, a former World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight champion who rejuvenated his career with an upset win over Edson Barboza at UFC 146 in May, similarly expects fireworks.

Guillard has been finished 10 times – nine by submission and once by knockout, by Cerrone at UFC 150 – while Varner has never been knocked out.

[Also: Benson Henderson and the case of the missing toothpick]

He told The MMA Corner there are plenty of similarities between Guillard and himself.

"I would say I'm a little bit more durable than Melvin," Varner said. "I've never been dropped. I've never been knocked out. Not to say that it can't happen, [because] Melvin is one of those guys that's been known to knock people out that have never been knocked out. He's hurt people that have never been hurt before. I'm a little bit more battle-tested.

"I can go into the later rounds and still fight. Even if I'm tired, I have that mental toughness that I can still grind it out. We have some of the same abilities. We both have raw power in our hands and our feet. But my wrestling and grappling is better."

There is plenty of time for Guillard to improve on those aspects of his game. He turns 30 in March, so he still has several years of what should be his prime left.

He may still harness that potential and become the smart, consistent and entertaining fighter everyone expects him to be. He may yet become a regular winner and move up the ladder of the world's best lightweights toward a title shot.

If it doesn't happen, though, not too many people are complaining about the current version of Guillard. Win or lose, he'll put on a show every time.

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Pat Forde: Dashing through the college football bowl season
Josh Brent's blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit after fatal crash
Big East's 'Catholic 7' angered by football focus contemplate disbanding league
Y! Movies: 'Lincoln' dominates Golden Globe nominations

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Chas Skelly wants spot on UFC 211, promises screaming fans in sleeveless shirts

  • 12 days ago
  • 4 views

HOUSTON – After a dominant display at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 104 event, Chas Skelly warned his featherweight colleagues: “These guys don’t understand they need to fight me now because I’m improvi read news >>

Sold-out UFC 208 draws announced 15,628 fans for $2,275,105 live gate, Barclays Center sports record

  • 8 days ago
  • 1 views

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Saturday’s UFC 208 event drew an announced attendance of 15,628 fans for a live gate of $2,275,105.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Fans invited to this week's Bellator 172 weigh-ins, tailgate party with Ortiz, Gracie, Davis, Henderson

  • 6 days ago
  • 19 views

Heading to the Silicon Valley this week for Bellator 172? The promotion has some chances for you to get up close and personal with some of its stars.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Fans invited to this week's UFC Fight Night 105 Ben Rothwell Q&A, ceremonial weigh-ins in Halifax

  • 6 days ago
  • 2 views

If you’re in Nova Scotia or headed there this week for UFC Fight Night 105, you can spend your Saturday before fight night with the UFC. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

'TUF 25: Redemption' cast revealed, includes former winners Joe Stevenson, Eddie Gordon

  • 4 days ago
  • 46 views

The 14 cast members for “The Ultimate Fighter 25” have been revealed, and a pair of former winners – not to mention a handful of former finalists – are on the list.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

The Ultimate Fighter 25 'Redemption' Cast Revealed | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago
  • 129 views

14 former cast members will compete for redemption in the tournament comprised of welterweights and the largest cash prize in the show’s history. read news >>

Cast revealed for The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption season 25

  • 5 days ago
  • 0 views

The landmark 25th season of FS1’s highest-rated and most-watched original series, The Ultimate Fighter® premieres Wednesday, April 19 at 10 p.m. ET on FS1. This season 14 former cast members will com read news >>

Ex-champ Johny Hendricks promises rebirth of fallen career at UFC Fight Night 105

  • 3 days ago
  • 7 views

HALIFAX – Johny Hendricks has a pep in his step that he said has been absent for several years as he approaches Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 105 showdown with Hector Lombard.Filed under: Featured Videos, read news >>

Georges St.-Pierre Returns to UFC on New Contract After over 2-Year Absence

  • 2 days ago
  • 10 views

UFC fans have wondered if and when Georges St-Pierre would return to the sport since he left more than two years ago. They reportedly have their answer. According to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles read news >>

Bellator 172 video highlights: Watch Patricky 'Pitbull' viciously ruin Josh Thomson's homecoming

  • a day ago
  • 140 views

Fighting in front of his hometown fans, veteran lightweight Josh Thomson was given the opportunity to compete in the main event of Saturday’s Bellator 172, but the result wasn’t as he might have hope read news >>