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UFC Fight for the Troops 2 Aftermath: Can Guillard challenge for UFC title?

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Can Melvin Guillard make an impact near the top of the UFC lightweight division following his impressive win over Evan Dunham at UFC Fight for the Troops 2?
Can Melvin Guillard make an impact near the top of the UFC lightweight division following his impressive win over Evan Dunham at UFC Fight for the Troops 2?

Melvin Guillard was impressive Saturday night at UFC Fight for the Troops 2.

Guillard stopped Evan Dunham's hype train by knocking him out less than three minutes into the first round, picking up his fourth straight win and upping his record to 6-1 in his latest UFC stint.

Following his decimation of Dunham, Guillard said he wants a crack at the UFC lightweight championship in 2011 or 2012. Well, to keep doing that, Guillard is going to have to keep winning fights, something that is easier said than done in the UFC lightweight division.

No doubt, Guillard was impressive, but does he have what it takes to compete at the upper level of the division? Despite competing in nearly 40 fights so far in his career, Saturday's win over Dunham probably was the best of his career. Each time Guillard has faced a name fighter in the UFC, he's lost. He's going to have to string together at least three more wins against top-flight talent before the UFC considers him for a title shot.

If the UFC is considering him for a title shot in the future following this fight, they need to put Guillard in there with fighters who have some serious grappling chops. It's no secret Guillard has had trouble when solid grapplers have taken him to the ground. All four of his UFC losses have come by way of submission, three of them in the first round. That's a serious hole in his game that hopefully is being addressed. If he can overcome that, he stands a chance.

Guillard's speed, power and athleticism make him a threat to anybody in the division on the feet, but the lightweight division is one built mostly around wrestlers and submission fighters. That does not bode well for Guillard moving forward if he hasn't addressed his deficiencies. However, I suspect he is improving in those areas just based on the fact he now is training with Greg Jackson and crew in New Mexico.

It will be interesting to see where the UFC heads with Guillard in the future. A fight with a strong grappler would be prudent for Guillard's next bout.