The Fight Horizon – Mac Danzig vs. Melvin Guillard
MMA Weekly just announced the first match for UFC on FOX 8, where Melvin Guillard makes his return to the Octagon against TUF 6 winner Mac Danzig. At this time, no other fights have been announced for the July 26th event, which marks the UFC’s return to Seattle.
The Matchup: Mac Danzig vs. Melvin Guillard
Mac Danzig (5-6 in UFC) is the definition of a middle of the pack fighter, a gatekeeper to the middle of the Lightweight division. He currently sits at 5-6 in the UFC, his record reflecting his streakiness, alternating wins and losses four times since losing to Jim Miller in 2009. His ceiling is pretty clear at this point, he’s a well-rounded fighter with a tendency towards submissions, but he just hasn’t been able to put together a good run in the UFC, especially against higher level competition. Danzig lost his last fight, a split decision to Takanori Gomi.
“The Young Assassin” (12-8 in UFC) is coming off back to back losses for the third time in his UFC career, losing to his former teammate Donald Cerrone last year by a head kick KO in the first round, and following that up with a split decision loss to Jamie Varner. He’s made headlines recently for leaving the Blackzilians to rejoin Jackson’s MMA in New Mexico, only to be rejected and finding a home at Grudge Training in Denver.
The Date: July 26th at UFC on FOX 8 in Seattle, WA
Weight Class: Lightweight
What led to it: Both guys are coming off of losses to average competition. It’s a very winnable fight for both fighters, who are in serious need of a good performance here.
Why it matters:
This fight may very well be a “keep your job” eliminator. Both of these guys are former TUF stalwarts who had high expectations but haven’t been able to deliver up to this point. Danzig, besides sharing a name with the rock legend, is 33 years old and is probably on the tail-end of his career. He was on a three fight losing streak before starting his back and forth win-loss cycle. A loss here would be two in a row, and put him at 5-7 in the UFC, two wins below .500. In this day and age, with the UFC cutting fighters regularly, it’s a surprise Danzig hasn’t been cut already. A win is desperately needed here. Danzig has to show he can still hang in the UFC, otherwise he might be looking at pink slips.
While Danzig had high hopes after winning a TUF title, it’s even more true for Guillard, who had championship hopes in his sights at one point in his career. It’s hard to believe Melvin Guillard was in the discussion for potential LW title contender not so long ago. Since then he’s fallen pretty far from grace, losing back to back fights (Joe Lauzon and Jim MIller) by submission and worse, both by the same move: a rear naked choke. His performances in his last two losses haven’t helped his cause either. Guillard’s potential has been widely talked about, and his failure to live up to it has been mentioned just as much. At times in the past, he looked like the next Lightweight champion, and at other times you just had to scratch your head. Guillard needs to eat, sleep and breathe submission defense. One trick ponies don’t have a place amongst the elite in MMA these days, and Guillard keeps getting exposed by good BJJ practitioners. He’s got the goods to beat anyone on a given day, but until he proves it with his performances, Guillard will simply be another “could have, would have, should have” who never fulfilled his potential. An impressive finish here could ignite the start of another run, but a loss here and it may be the last we see of “The Young Assassin” in the UFC.