Following two years of struggles on the scale, Melvin Guillard is putting the lightweight division behind him.
Guillard on Friday announced his decision to move to the welterweight division after scoring a first-round knockout of David Rickels in the co-main event of Bellator 159. “The Young Assassin” had been scheduled to face Rickels at 155 pounds, but the bout was changed to a catchweight contest when Guillard checked in at 157.9 pounds.
Friday’s win in Mulvane, Kansas, snapped a three-fight losing skid for Guillard, who picked up his first Bellator MMA victory just when it appeared he was on the cusp of being released by the organization.
“Had I lost tonight, I probably wouldn’t be in Bellator. I would’ve been cut,” Guillard said in his post-fight interview. “So, when you put a man’s back to the wall like that, nobody can stop me.”
Guillard made mention of his weight-cutting woes, which saw him miss the mark for fights in Bellator and World Series of Fighting, including a lost title shot with the latter.
“This has been, unfortunately, the fourth time I’ve missed weight at 155,” said the 33-year-old Louisiana native. “My body’s not letting me cut the weight like I used to, so I’m going back up to 170. This is officially my last fight at 155.”
Guillard did not shy away from naming a favored opponent for his first Bellator welterweight bout, calling out British striker Paul Daley for a future fight.
“I want ‘Semtex,’ man,” said Guillard. “That’s my homie, but I think me and him can give Bellator some fireworks.
“I’m here to fight, you know what I mean? I’m 33 years old. I’m tired of spending all my time stressing out, cutting weight. Cutting 30 pounds ain’t fun. I walk around at 180. So, I wanna enjoy the rest of my career, and I’m gonna give Bellator some great fights at 170.”