A lightweight battle could steal the show this weekend at UFC Fight Night 30 in England. Heavy-handed Melvin Guillard enters the Octagon against Ross Pearson. Given the standout striking skills of both fighters, this shapes up as an all-action matchup.
Guillard is fresh off a brutal stoppage of Mac Danzig at UFC on FOX 8 that won him a Knockout of the Night bonus. That victory was a badly needed one for “The Young Assassin” as it snapped a two-fight losing skid. He’s just 2-4 in his last six fights, but the losses have come against high-quality opposition in Joe Lauzon, Jim Miller, Donald Cerrone and Jamie Varner.
Guillard is arguably one of the hardest punchers in the entire division with 20 career knockouts in his 31 wins. However, he has shown himself to be vulnerable on the ground as he has been submitted nine times. Guillard has fought a remarkable 20 times in the UFC, having won 12 of those bouts, and has received multiple Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night bonuses.
The matchup with Pearson has the potential to be a Fight of the Night contender as he also likes to trade shots with his opposition. Pearson has registered seven wins in his 10 Octagon appearances. “The Real Deal” has built some momentum in his latest return to the lightweight division thanks to TKO victories against Ryan Couture and George Sotiropoulos.
Pearson has looked sharp since moving back up to the 155-pound division after taking a couple of fights at featherweight. He made the decision to leave the 145-pound weight class after a TKO loss to current contender Cub Swanson. While Pearson doesn’t mind trading punches, he does have some submission skills as well, which is something to watch for against Guillard. Pearson has recorded five submission victories in his career.
Pearson, the former lightweight winner of the Ultimate Fighter Season 9: United States vs. United Kingdom, will definitely have the crowd on his side this weekend in Manchester. Both men have plenty of UFC experience and both have a pedigree of being in entertaining affairs. It’s definitely an important matchup for both competitors, with the winner moving up the ladder in a talented 155-pound weight class.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports