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UFC 136 preview: Melvin Guillard looks to inch closer to title shot with win over Joe Lauzon

Melvin Guillard(left) will face Joe Lauzon at UFC 136

The UFC 136 event that will take place in Houston, Texas, will feature a lightweight matchup between TUF alums Melvin Guillard and Joe Lauzon. It’s a very important matchup, especially for Melvin Guillard as he could be eyeing a potential title shot with another impressive win which would be his sixth in a row. Lauzon is (2-2) in his last four fights in the UFC but he’s a very solid fighter. Let’s see how this one shakes out.

Joe Lauzon comes into this fight with a career record of (20-6) with 16 wins via submission and 4 wins via TKO/KO. So Lauzon has never won a fight via decision as he always goes for the finish. Lauzon was last seen in action back in June as he submitted Curt Warburtonvia submission. Lauzon has a solid submission game including an assortment of leglocks, decent wrestling, and usually he’s able to fight at a very high pace.

Melvin Guillard comes into this fight with a career record of (29-8) with 19 wins via TKO/KO and 2 wins via submission. Guillard was last seen in action at UFC 132 dismantling 3x time All-American wrestler Shane Roller via TKO. Guillard is athletic as they come with a background in wrestling and judo, but he separates himself from everyone else with his speed and power. He has absolute dynamite in his hands and knees as evident by the number of fighters he has put away via TKO/KO.

Bet on Fighting has Guillard as the betting favorite at (-340) and Lauzon as the underdog at (+280).

I would agree with those odds with the way Guillard has been performing lately. In the past this is just the type of fight that would have given him problems, but he has seemed to get past those lapses in concentrations that would cause him to lose since joining Greg Jackson’s camp. It should be noted that Guillard trained at Imperial Athletics(home of the ‘Blackzilians’) with Mike Van Arsdale for this fight though.

This fight is fairly simple to breakdown. Lauzon will want to get Guillard to the ground to try and expose Guillard’s suspect submission defense and Guillard will want to keep it standing where he is by far the superior striker. See below:

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This is Lauzon dropping Warburton before finishing him with a kimura later in the fight. Notice how Lauzon leaves his face wide open for a counter by not bringing his hands back to his chin after throwing a punch?

Now notice how compact Guillard’s punches are as he looks to counter Roller. Roller feints a right hand and look to come with the left hook and never gets the right hand back to guard him chin properly and eats a devastating left from Guillard that puts him down. Yea, if Lauzon isn’t able to get Guillard to the ground it’s going to be a short night for him.

Guillard has excellent takedown defense often using his wrestling in reverse to keep the fight standing, but he has been taken down in the past by guys with less than stellar wrestling credentials. However, nobody has taken him down and kept him there with any type of success in his past four fights. Lauzon will need to put Guillard against the cage and attempt to take him down from that position as Guillard is almost impossible to take down in the center of the cage. Guillard is also very good with his knee’s and it’s possible that Lauzon could get one shooting from the outside for a takedown. Guillard’s judo background also adds another dimension to his takedown defense. If Lauzon is able to crowd Guillard against the cage it accomplishes a few things. It negates the speed and striking advantage that Guillard will have, and it’ll also give him an opportunity to simply make Guillard work and possible wear him down a bit. A tired Guillard may have a split second lapse that would enable Lauzon to capitalize with a possible submission on the ground.

If Lauzon isn’t able to get this fight to the ground he’s going to get knocked out barring him landing a haymaker of some sorts.

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