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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Fighter complaints against the World Series of Fighting continues to be far too commonplace, and the latest such issue comes from UFC vet Melvin Guillard.
In an interview with Submission Radio ahead of his fight on Friday at WSOF 20, Guillard expressed a number of frustrations with the organization, particularly matchmaker and executive Ali Abdelaziz, and says he's on his way out of the organization.
Guillard's complaints stem from what happened in the wake of his loss to Justin Gaethje at WSOF 15. Guillard missed weight for what was supposed to be a title fight, and went ahead with the bout despite the insistence that he forfeit 50% of his fight purse. He says he did so against the wishes of his agent, and because Abdelaziz promised him a quick turnaround fight by February if he remained on the card.
That obviously did not happen, and Guillard is extremely unhappy with Abdelaziz and WSOF as an organization because of it.
"He kind of reneged on some of his promises and it's funny, they never answer their phone when I need to talk to them, but yet when they want me to do interviews and they want something from me, they want to try and force me to do it," Guillard said. "So there's a lot of things in the company that I'm not happy about, and I'm the type of person [that] I'm always going to speak my mind, and there's already other places that want to sign me. So I'm gonna go in this fight next week, I'm going to fight my ass off. I'm going to win this fight impressively so that way I have options, I have choices. You know because ultimately I'm going back to the UFC anyway.
"I'm going to let them know how I feel, for when you fuck over Melvin Guillard and not give him what he asked for after he swallows his pride, and takes a fight, and lets them take 50 percent; and I still fight for them, I still give them a good show [in] that last fight, even though I didn't make weight and fight for the title; but yet the fact that Ali didn't man up and follow his promise, you know right now it's a little bit personal to me."
Guillard is hoping to simply get back to the "A" league, and says he'd take another UFC run over being a WSOF Champion at this point.
"I'm tired of these promotions and these promoters like trying to use me to say 'oh we need you to do this, but we're going to give you this,'" Guillard said. "You know what? If they can't give it to me upfront, then I don't want it. You know what I'm saying? So I'm on my way out the door from World Series most likely. I might even a pit stop in Bellator, because right now Bellator from what I'm seeing, I hear they're taking care of their guys and they're paying the guys pretty decent... But ultimately, yes want to go back to the UFC. I want to fight in the top ten, top five contenders, maybe even fight for the title. This whole World Series thing, man to be honest with you, after this next fight I'm probably going to be done with it anyway.
"... To be honest, instead of being the World Series of Fighting champion I'd rather be in the UFC just fighting in the top 10 and probably never becoming the UFC world champion, if I had that option. If I had the option to be the World Series champion right now, or go back to the UFC to finish off my career with the UFC, whether I get a title shot or not, I would take that UFC contract over a World Series [contract] any day."
Penick's Analysis: Guillard is far from the first fighter to speak out on Abdelaziz and the WSOF not getting him a fight. It's become enough of a recurring situation that fighters are going to be wary about working with the organization, and it's something that has to be addressed. With that said, Guillard's also been disgruntled on a number of occasions during his MMA career, so it's not out of character for him to have an issue with another promoter. I don't know that we'll see him get his wish to finish out in the UFC, but it's clear his WSOF days are numbered.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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