Southwest Scene: Genuine Guillard

By Tommy Messano Mar 8, 2008
PHOENIX, Ariz., March 7 -- The roller coaster ride that is Melvin Guillard (Pictures)'s life may have hit a plateau Friday night.

Guillard headlined Rage in the Cage 105 taking on two-year pro Eric Regan in a welterweight contest.

Throughout the night Guillard showed composure until the referee raised his hand in victory after three rounds.

The fight was never in doubt for the 15 minutes it lasted. Guillard controlled the pace throughout: staying patient on offense while remaining calm when he became vulnerable on defense.

Regan came out the aggressor in round one, sprinting across the ring only to be met by Guillard's left and right hands. The majority of the first frame was spent with Guillard defending takedowns and forcing his opponent to stand-up once the fight hit the floor.

In the second round Guillard utilized his superior athleticism by working his takedown defense and constantly regaining dominant position on the mat. Guillard maintained top position, landing some vicious body shots that accounted for the most significant damage by either fighter on this night.

Not to be overlooked is the gutsy performance turned in by Regan. Round three began with Guillard catching a kick and turning it into a slam, but just as in the first two rounds Regan's active guard kept him out of any serious danger. With Guillard in the full-mount Regan was able to escape and ride out the last two minutes of the final period.

All three judges awarded the decision to Guillard, a native of New Orleans.

"Eric is tough," Guillard said. "A lot of guys out here wouldn't take this fight. I caught him with some good stand-up strikes; he just wouldn't go down. He has a hard chin."

"The UFC is still my home," he continued. "I'm grateful they are letting me participate in outside shows. In my last two fights I got caught thinking too much."

Now living in Houston, Texas, and under the guidance of Saul Soliz, Guillard has the stable gym environment that may not have appealed to him a few years ago.

"Saul said it best: he told me to just get in there and have fun."

Guillard said he is turning a corner in his maturation process.

"2007 left a bad taste in my mouth, but I matured from it," he said. "I'll be 25 this month so there comes a point in your life where you have to grow up and leave the little kid stuff behind."

RITC Undercard Results

J.T Wells def. Logan Hopp submission (ankle lock) 2:31 R2
Jesse Barrett def. Bill Blackwell TKO (strikes) 2:14 R1
Cody Pearce def. Steve Renner submission (front choke) 0:29 R1
Victor Meza def. Daniel Seaney submission (rear-naked choke) 2:31 R1
Jade Porter def. Steve Maultsby unanimous decision 3R
Doug Moore def. Ray Robinson submission (arm-triangle choke) 2:07 R1
Gabe Casillas def. Tushuma Nahiwawa submission (armbar) 2:15 R1
Luke Hodges (Pictures) def, Antoni Weeden KO 2:58 R1
Joe Cronin (Pictures) def, Jason Trevino split decision 3R

Houston's Jesse Vasquez Still in hospital

Professional light heavyweight fighter Jesse Vasquez is still recovering at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, Okla., after he collapsed following a World Combat League event held on Saturday Feb. 23.

After winning his fight in the stand-up-only competition, Vazquez complained of headaches and numbness in his legs.

Vasquez was quickly rushed to the hospital where he is still recovering. The Texas martial arts community has rallied around the 33-year-old fighter who serves as director and head instructor at the Friendswood, Texas, Bushi Ban School. The school held two BBQ fundraisers over the weekend and is still accepting donations in Jesse's name.

For more information on Jesse Vasquez's current condition and how you can help visit

TDLR adopts new amateur MMA rules

Effective March 1, 2008, the Texas Department of License & Regulation, which governs combative sports competitions in the state, began enforcing a new regulation regarding insurance requirements for promotions running amateur MMA events.

The new rule states Section 61.48(e): An amateur combative sports association shall provide insurance and pay all deductibles for contestants, to cover medical, surgical and hospital care with a minimum limit of $50,000 for injuries sustained while participating in a contest and $100,000 to a contestant's estate if he dies of injuries suffered while participating in a contest.

"The well-being of fighters and their families is TDLR's prime concern," a spokesperson for the TDLR told "TDLR recognized a need to raise medical coverage to $50,000 to cover injuries that may occur. To protect the family of fighters TDLR is on the cutting edge of the industry in raising the death payout limit to $100,000."

Local amateur promoters are crying foul saying that sponsors and increased tickets prices won't be able to keep up for increased mount funds dedicated to insurance costs.

Chip Thornburg president of the Texas Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Association believes many fighters will go outside of state lines to pay their dues and pushing promoters back into smaller venues.

"In a state where the average amateur ticket price is $20 and the average attendance is 500 or so paid," said Thornburg, "that represents a pretty big jump in the bottom line."

Southwest Calendar

WEC featherweight contender Chance Farrar (Pictures)'s return to Total Combat highlights a busy schedule of MMA events across the American southwest.

3/15/08 Que Loco Cage fighting, Tay Events Center, Alamogordo, N.M.
3/15/08 West Texas MMA, Lubbock Civic Center, Lubbock, Texas
3/15/08 Rage in the Ring, C.G Fairgrounds, Casa Grande, Ariz.
3/22/08 Total Combat 27, Paradise Casino, Yuma, Ariz.
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