UFC Vet Guillard Falls in Bellator MMA Debut

“The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard has never had trouble generating hype or spitting venom, but this past Friday night at Bellator 141, the sniper just wasn’t firing. Guillard hand-picked the man that would stand across the cage from him when the time came, Brandon Girtz. An eye and hand injury gave Girtz the big-time upset.

The 32-15-(2-2* two draws, two no-contests) Guillard’s downfall came thanks to Girtz’ pushing of the pace, the true definition of cage control, and gradually becoming a one-eyed fighter which started in the first after viper-like rights in and a timidity that is rare from the journeyman.

Girtz came out and was immediately the aggressor with knees that essentially gave Girtz the first round with a slam, double-leg takedown, and bodywork to follow. Guillard looked to up his tempo in the second and did land early. However, the hype-man wasn’t able to get a flow going for the majority of the fight, minus a run for it in the final minute of the contest.

In pro wrestling, the number one way to defeat a high-flyer is to take his legs out, rendering his “flying” ability mute. With Guillard, a striker, a similar practice was used--ground him as well. Not everything between pro wrestling and MMA correlates, but in this case the ground has been and remains Guillard’s worst nightmare.

Of those 32 mentioned victories, this is how things break down: 21 are from those bricks he puts in his gloves (66 percent). Only two are submissions (six percent). If one were to compare that with his 15 Ls in the record books, nine defeats (60 percent) were by way of tapout.

While nothing in life is sure thing, and “TYA” has truly natural born speed and reflex that enable him to work his way back to his feet with minimal to no damage, this was not one of those times. Girtz kept his adversary pinned to the canvas long enough throughout that he effectively became the iceberg that sank the Titanic.

​Sometimes strength does beat being elusive; it helped Girtz go two rounds up.

That’s also how most of the last five minutes looked, but Guillard managed to force a stalemate of sorts on the mat by having dominating arm control on his opponent despite being in guard.

From there it was a mad dash to finish, a knee to the jaw looked like a positive start to the remaining seconds. Then Girtz all but silenced the former Octagon warrior. Guillard lunged with a flying knee, failing to land, and thus his debut was brought to an unsuccessful close.

Girtz saw his hand raised by way of a 29-27, 29-27, 28-29 split decision.

“He was tougher than I thought,” Girtz told the press. “I mean, to tell you the truth, I’m very confident in myself and always have been. I thought I was going to finish him, especially being on top that whole first round. In the second round, I thought I was breaking him, and he kept coming. He’s a tough dude. And he hit me with a nice 15-piece combo there at the end.”