A lightweight matchup between Melvin Guillard and Michael Johnson has the makings to produce an all-action thriller this weekend in London, England at UFC Fight Night 37. The “Young Assassin” had initially been slated to rematch Ross Pearson after a disappointing no-contest between the two fighters back in late October but Pearson was forced to withdraw because of a knee injury. The surging Johnson got the call and will be looking to make it three straight wins and inch closer to a top-10 ranking.
Guillard, while plagued at times by inconsistency during his UFC career, remains one of the most dynamic strikers in the lightweight division. He joined the promotion during Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter and has produced 8 knockout victories during a lengthy tenure that has also netted a handful of Fight Night bonuses. Guillard has tested his skills against many of the division’s best fighters and is capable of turning in devastating performances when he brings his A-game to the Octagon.
Johnson has compiled a 6-4 UFC record but has really gotten his act together since suffering a submission loss in Sweden against Reza Madadi. Johnson has responded from that disappointing setback with back-to-back standout performances. “The Menace” put on a striking clinic against Joe Lauzon at Fight Night 26 to earn a unanimous decision victory and followed that up by stopping the durable Gleison Tibau at UFC 168. Johnson’s confidence level has soared with the newfound success and he’s expressed a willingness to tangle with anyone. He’s never been knocked out in his career but his chin will get a serious test against Guillard’s formidable power.
While Johnson does have a wrestling background he’s taken his stand-up game to a whole new level during his recent run of success while Guillard has always been a fighter willing to stand and trade. With both fighters looking to continue to raise their stock in a stacked lightweight division, don’t be surprised if this contest produces the Fight of the Night at O2 arena.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports