This weekend, at London´s O2 Arena, the UFC Fight Night 38 card goes down. The card features a Lightweight co-main event featuring Michael Johnson taking on Melvin Guillard. Right now at BETDSI, the match is near pick ém, as Johnson comes in at (-125) with the comeback on Guillard at (+105). Guillard is known as an exciting fighter and once had a strong 5 fight winning streak and was nearing the top of the division, but he has a brutal 2 and a half years in the octagon that have seen him go 2-4-1. Is Johnson the right guy to get him back on track?
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A lot of people are betting no. Johnson is a veteran of the octagon, as he is 6-4 in the UFC and he is logging his 11th octagon appearance with the company. He has won his last two outings, taking out tough Brazilian Gleison Tibau and winning a UD over Joe Lauzon.
As far as common opponents, look no further than Lauzon. Lauzon was the fighter who wiped out Guillard´s 5 fight winning streak by choking him out in less than a minute when they fought back in October of 2011. Johnson used the well regarded Lauzon to snap a 2 fight losing streak of his own.
Guillard will be trying to take off Johnson´s head with knees or punches, but Johnson is a savvy fighter who knows what he has to do. It is a shame to say it, but after many many years, the game plan to fight Melvin Guillard is the same. Johnson has to try and avoid getting into a distance striking match with the speedy Guillard. Chest to chest up against the cage Johnson will be safe to rough up Guillard a bit until he inevitably makes a mistake.
As always when Guillard fights, it is going to be exciting, but look for Johnson to be ready to extend the fight and make it a grind.