The military has given to him, so Melvin Guillard is happy to give back. The same goes for UFC president Dana White.
The promotion is just a few days away from putting on its third fight card on a U.S. military base. This time it's Ft. Hood in Texas and the UFC is hoping to exceed the $4 million it raised in late 2008 with a fight card in Fayetteville, N.C.
"I'm going to give these guys a show," Guillard said during the "Fight for the Troops 2" teleconference. "You know, they work so hard to protect us every year, year after year. Some of them give up going overseas and got to live there for years at a time. And, you know, this is a blessing for me to even be asked to give a performance that I'm going to give these guys next week -- and guys and girls. So to me, it's just all part of being an American and I'm honored."
Guillard knows first hand of the sacrifice.
"I stay right now in Albuquerque with Staff Sergeant Chris Molina and his family. This is where I stay when I come here. So, you know, getting the military experience of staying with families, you know, seeing what these guys go through to protect our country, I've actually had chances to visit certain military bases and I also have a ton of friends in high school that got out of high school that’s in military, whether it's Marine Corps or Army or Air Force or whatever," said Guillard.
White decided Ft. Hood was a good spot this time around after seeing the work done by the Fisher family in Texas and around the country.
"What happened was we got invited down there and I went down. It was the first time I'd ever seen anything like that -- when I visited the hospital and what these guys, you know, the Fisher family who started this thing, what they’ve done for the troops here fighting in the United States, it's -- I can't even -- I can't put it into words for you. When these kids get injured, you know, you’ve got these 18-, 19-, 20-year-old kids that are getting injured over there -- they come back, it's sad to say but the government doesn’t take care of them, which is mind boggling," said White.
"So this family has put together this thing where -- and if you're a parent of one of these kids, I mean anybody who's on this call who has kids can understand. Your kid gets his arms, legs blown off, his face is melted -- the horrible things that happen to these guys -- and they're laying in a hospital bed out in the middle of Nowhere, Virginia, what do you do? You know what you do? You quit your job, you lose everything you have and you drive out there and you live in your car and you sit in a chair in the bed next to them."
The UFC raised $4 million around Fight for the Troops 1 and is hoping to eclipse that number this time. The proceeds this year will benefit the 53 Fisher Houses around the U.S. and in Germany and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
"Fight for the Troops" goes down this Saturday on Spike (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Thanks to Spike for conference call transcript