Tragedies to triumph for Guillard

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Melvin Guillard's quick knockout win over Dennis Siver at UFC 86 garnered the Ultimate Fighter Season 2 alumni a $60,000 Knockout of the Night bonus.

"It was a good victory," Guillard told "I trained hard for it, and I was ready. I came in. I executed. I stayed focused, and I done my job."

In the opening exchange Guillard dropped Siver to the canvas with a punch and nearly ended the fight. "I thought I had him and I tried to rush it," said the New Orleans native when asked about the first knockdown. "He went for an arm bar. My coaches told me to back out and reset." And that's exactly what he did.

"I backed out and reset. I fired off again, and I got the shot. I'm happy with my performance," said the 25-year-old lightweight.

"When I caught him the first time I knew he couldn't handle my power because I hit him good the first time and kind of dropped him fairly easy," explained Guillard. "From there I figured if I hit him good again I knew I'd get him. I also felt he was a little rocked. He wasn't all there, so I just went at him again and I ended up getting the right hand."

Heading into UFC 86, Guillard had lost back-to-back bouts in the Ultimate Fighting Championship to Joe Stevenson and Rich Clementi before getting a much needed win in Rage in the Cage over Eric Regan.

Questioned what has changed since losing to Clementi, Guillard responded, "I became a man. I grew up. I cut out all the b.s. in my life. I really had to grow up as a person and not just a fighter."

The recent loss of his father, Hurricane Katrina, the notoriety from being on "The Ultimate Fighter," a positive test for cocaine -- Guillard has faced adversity personally and professionally. But he thinks it's all made him a better man.

"Every tragedy, every battle that I've been through has made me a stronger person," said the Houston resident. "I thank my coaches and close family that's been supporting me even through the rough times, when I got popped for the drugs and everything. I had a down-slide, but now I'm on an up-slide.

"I battled a lot of tragedies in my life right now: My dad, Katrina. I had a lot of stuff going on. I was still trying to be focused on fighting, but in my heart I was still crying. I just started putting all the bad stuff behind me. Just put it on the side right now and think about positive things and focus on what's important, and that's being a fighter. Right now, what's important to me is the UFC."