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Maggie Hendricks

Guillard starts off UFC 119 main card with split decision win

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Melvin Guillard won a split decision over Jeremy Stephens at UFC 119, 29-28, 28-29 and 30-27. This is Guillard's third win in a row

Stephens started the round by knocking down Guillard, but the tide quickly changed. With strong movement and powerful punches, Guillard ruled the first round. He got the better of each exchange with Stephens, and even showboated a bit when avoiding strikes.

In the second round, Stephens attacked with more leg kicks, while Guillard focused his attack on Stephens' body. The round was interrupted twice as both fighters received unintentional shots to the groin.

Stephens complained of a groin strike halfway through the round. Stephens was given a second to recover, and the fight continued without crowd complaint. However, when Stephens landed a clear kick to Guillard's groin, Conseco Fieldhouse became filled with boos.

For the third round, Guillard continued with body shots, kicks and impressive movement. Stephens had a shot near the end of the fight when he wobbled Guillard with a punch, but then missed on a flying knee right after, giving up his opportunity to end the bout.

"I trained hard and I felt like I did enough to get the win tonight. I did more and I honestly don’t think he hit me in the face one time," Guillard said after the fight. "I knew he wanted to stand and bang. I was a state champion in wrestling and a brown belt in judo so I could’ve taken it to the ground but I wanted to stick to my game plan.”

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