Melvin Guillard is a free man, and he couldn't be happier.
After losing a lopsided fight against Michael Johnson at UFC Fight Night 37, Guillard didn't expect to be released by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), but he doesn't mind testing the waters elsewhere.
"I was happy. I mean, I gave the UFC nine years. I honestly gave them one bad performance which was the London fight. I got two busted ribs, a busted hand, but I didn't give any excuses."
"The Young Assassin" spoke to the media for the first time on Monday, talking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour and confirming that he entered the fight against Johnson with some busted-up ribs.
He cites not making an excuse for the loss, yet clarifies that he wasn't 100 percent, either.
"My ribs are still messed up. I got a busted hand, but my injuries are my problem. This is my first interview since the fight, you're the first person I'm talking to."
The former lightweight contender confirmed the only people who knew of his injury were his wife, coaches and management.
Guillard will certainly be looking for the biggest paycheck possible, perhaps in Bellator or World Series of Fighting (WSOF), and anticipates a new challenge elsewhere since he's a wanted man.
"For me, honestly, I thought it was the best thing that could happen to me at this point in my career. They gave me a platform for a lot of organizations, and a lot of people want me right now."
He was quite surprised about the firing, and felt like maybe he deserved more after taking the fight on a few weeks' notice -- without seeing his cut coming.
"I honestly, I really didn't. I was supposed to fight Ross Pearson. I asked to fight Michael, but it was still a fight that wasn't supposed to happen. I had a bad performance, my fault, my bad. I'm the one out there doing do my job, I'm the one ending up fighting injured, but I'll take that. Michael put on a great fight, he beat me that night. I had a horrible performance. But, did I think I was going to get released? No, I had no idea. I thought I was going to be put on the shelf."
The root of his happiness could also be that another company will pay him more than what he made with UFC, something he addressed, too.
"I was actually happy because I felt like, I could sign with another company, and that company is gonna pay me way more than I make with UFC."
The Louisiana native has only won a single fight out of his past five, and was shown the door after a record of 13-9 and one "No Contest" under the promotion.
He's fought 48 times professionally, holding a record of 31-13-2 and two "No Contests."
Happy trails, "Young Assassin."