Australia Fighting Championship 20, Melvin Guillard

Israel Adesanya on Melvin Guillard: I wanna clock the game!

Kickboxing sensation Israel Adesanya will confront his biggest martial arts test to date on July 28 when he battles knock out artist Melvin Guillard for the Interim AFC Middleweight Title. With a kick boxing career comprising 50 wins with almost half coming by KO, and a broadening martial arts career comprising a perfect 9 wins all by KO, this is one seriously dangerous martial artist!

Israel’s combat sports journey speaks entirely for itself, and with so many fights across so many different disciplines one may consider him a veteran in this genre of sport; but that’s not the case for Israel, in his mind he is only getting started:

“[I] fight on Kunlun one time; currently contracted too Glory of Heroes-China (formerly WLF). I’ve been fighting since 2008 and have plenty of notches on my belt. But I feel like I started 2 years a go. I feel fresh in the game”

Israel’s knock out ratio is truly daunting; his kick boxing record demonstrates his KO power and it’s even scarier when he puts on the 4oz gloves. On occasion, Israel has even endeavoured to just test his opponent’s chin but the result has been a clean KO:

“100% of my MMA fights end by KO. I don’t even try knock them out, I just wanna touch their chin, the soft spots of their head. Eventually they fall cuz I’m very precise”

The New Zealand martial arts scene is prodigious at the moment. The calibre of fighters the Country continues to produce is world class and Israel is lucky enough to train and learn from some of the very best:

“I’m training at home in Auckland under the tutelage of Eugene Bareman!! Got some world-beaters in my camp: Brad Riddell, Dan Hangman, Blood Diamond, Kai Kara. Even got guys on the rise like Carlos Ulberg, The Vake brothers…the list goes on. I love the spirit of the team”

Current UFC fighter Dan Hooker has a storied history in the AFC and previously held the Lightweight Title for an extensive period. Kai Kara France has challenged for a title and other New Zealand natives have made their mark. All of these warriors have influenced Israel’s development in some way, however it’s his coach whom has had the major impact:

“Eugene cuz no one has any idea of how good he is at breaking down fights. One of the best on Earth, but I’m bias. American striking is nowhere the level of NZ. Their grappling is ahead but we are catching up fast”

When Israel finally walks into the Melbourne Pavilion on July 28, he’ll throw down with UFC, Bellator and WSOF veteran Melvin Guillard. Israel is very conscious of the dangers Melvin possess however he’s confident he’ll have all the answers come fight night:

“He is small and covers distance well, I’ve watched him fight over the years and he’s got game…and I wanna clock the game”

Melvin is considered a seasoned veteran with huge KO power in his hands; he also has tremendous ring/cage savvy. I asked Israel how he plans to negate these potential advantages; his response was simple as it was menacing:

“Punch him in the mouth!!”

So the martial arts world knows that both guys have serious power and great diversity across martial arts disciplines. Melvin’s collegiate wrestling background may come into play, however regardless of the game plan that Melvin brings forth, Israel is confident he’ll have the advantages across the board:

“Anywhere I want. He can try me!”

A win over Melvin will set up a genuinely mouth watering contest with current AFC Middleweight Champ Rob Wilkinson to unify the titles. To the general martial arts fine, this fight is an absolute cracker; maybe not so much for Israel:

“Who dafooq is that guy?!”…lol I dunno Rob. Sorry not sorry”

As it has been consistently reported, the AFC is generating global partnerships that will set the promotion up to perform on a world scale. The opportunities that will soon be bestowed upon our athletes are genuinely endless, and Israel is now right in the mix to make the most of those opportunities:

“I wanna fit into the AFC wallet. Fit in where the money is!”

AFC 20 goes down on July 28 live from the Melbourne Pavilion. Get your tickets now: AFC 20 Tickets

Article by Josh Warner AFC

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Josh Warner
Match Maker, Commentator and Media Specialist at the Australian Fighting Championship.