Controversial and star-crossed lightweight Melvin Guillard (21-7-2) will take on the surging Gleison Tibau (17-6) -- not Thiago Tavares as originally reported -- at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 9 Finale at "The Pearl" at the Palms Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 20 according to Tatame.com.
Tavares reportedly sustained an elbow injury while training that forced him out of the lightweight contest, which was rumored to take place at UFC 101, but is now booked to go down on the Spike TV special.
Guillard has encountered his share of problems outside the Octagon since his short stint on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 2. The "Young Assassin" was arrested in Houston, Texas, on August 13, 2008, for violating probation on a 2007 drug charge.
He also tested positive for cocaine after his loss to Joe Stevenson at UFC Fight Night 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada, in April 2007. He was fined and suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for the transgression.
The talented 26-year-old Louisiana native appeared to have slayed his personal demons, destroying Denis Siver at UFC 86: "Jackson vs. Griffin" in July 2008 — his return fight after being released by the UFC for, among other things, his relationship with illegal drugs.
One has to imagine that he’s used up most if not all of his nine lives, meaning that a win is critical for Guillard, but it won’t come easy against a Brazilian jiu-jitsu player with talent like Tibau — Guillard has demonstrated throughout his up-and-down career that he has lackluster submission defense.
Tibau is no stranger to filling in for injured fighters -- the Brazilian recently stepped in for Efrain Escudero to take on Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 18 from the Sommet Center in Nashville, Tenn., on April 1.
He won the bout via unanimous decision, which was his second straight bib victory -- he submitted Rich Clementi at UFC Fight Night 17 earlier this year in a must-win situation.
That's because Tibau was riding a back-to-back losses, which is always precarious in the land of the UFC. It was uncharted territory for the American Top Team (ATT) product — he won three of his first four fights inside the Octagon. And the only loss during that stretch was to Nick Diaz at UFC 65: "Bad Intentions" back in November 2006.
But Tibau recovered after dropping dropped consecutive bouts to perennial division threats Tyson Griffin and Joe Stevenson and is now out to make in three in a row and possibly get in the 155-pound title picture.
TUF 9 Finale features a lightweight match between Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida, as well as a co main event that pits Joe Stevenson against Nate Diaz in another fantastic 155-pound showdown.
Naturally, the show will also host the lightweight and welterweight finales for the ninth season of TUF, which is currently in progress. Coach Dan Henderson is leading a U.S. team against coach Michael Bisping and his British squad.
For more on TUF 9 Finale click here.