Two months before UFC lightweight Melvin Guillard announced via Twitter that he was returning to Team Jackson-Winkeljohn in Albuquerque, N.M., the gym’s leaders voted to keep him from doing so. Guillard (30-12-2 MMA, 11-7 UFC) had inquired about a potential reunion through former teammates, who then passed word to the gym’s administration. The vote was unanimous. “The Young Assassin” had angered the team in interviews he gave about a move this past year to Florida’s “Blackzilians” team, a source close to the MMA team told MMAjunkie.com
Adding to concerns, Guillard has two outstanding assault charges against him from separate incidents in Albuquerque in 2010, records show. So when the fighter sent his tweet on Sunday – “Im no longer a blackzillian I went back to where I belong Jackson’s,” he wrote – the team was caught off guard. “He’s not allowed back here,” said the source, who asked for anonymity given the sensitive nature of the talks and the team’s history with the fighter.
Guillard was unreachable for comment, and his last known management firm, Authentic Sports Management [who kinda created the Blackzillians – FL], refused to confirm whether he is still a client.
According to Bernalillo County (N.M.) court records, Guillard currently faces five charges: two misdemeanor counts of aggravated battery, to which he pled not guilty. Three misdemeanor counts of failure to appear in court were settled. A jury trial on the assault charges is set for April 10, where he faces six months in jail for each count, in addition to fines and probation.
Well there you have it folks. The Youngish Assassin’s not only shunned from the Jackson-Winkeljohn camp but now he’s seeking legal counsel for those pesky assault charges that – strangely enough – stuck around even after a 2 year hiatus. Now Guillard’s caught between total humiliation and graveling for his spot back with the Blackzillians. If only Twitter had a hashtag (#justplayingBlackzillians) that could completely rectify the situation.
Looking at it from a different angle perhaps athletes need to learn the limits of their use on social media outlets like Twitter. The UFC holds a “Fighter’s Summit” every year but for whatever the reason the social media portion seems to be lost in translation. Maybe it’s a scheduling issue. By putting that session in between motivational talks from Michael Irvin and the always entertaining Keith Kizer, how can one compete with such titans of entertainment? The simple answer: You can’t because the majority of the responsibility is carried by the athlete.
So what’s the moral of this story? It’s probably a good idea to double check and make sure you’re actually welcome at a MMA camp before you celebrate by tweeting out party plans for your return. As a matter of fact maybe you shouldn’t tweet it out at all – at least wait until you have your first Muay Tai lesson.