Melvin Gillard's striking coach talks about his team's victory over Evan Dunham at UFC: Fight for the Troops 2.
The right jab that Melvin Gillard used last night at UFC: Fight for the Troops 2 to stop Evan Dunham was no coincidence. According to Melvin's striking trainer Mike Winkeljon, everything was carefully planned before the fight.
“Melvin and I were constantly working to break through to him (Dunham) from a certain angle and punch his right hand,” Winkeljon shared in an interview with Sherdog.com. “Melvin has always had this speed. This is an ability given to him by God. That was our plan - to knock out the opponent, and we are very happy."
Last night, Gillard put the bookies to shame by showing phenomenal hand speed and earning a knockout in the first round of his fight with Evan Dunham. At the beginning of the fight, Gillard hit the right, which was the beginning of the end for Evan. While Dunham tried to close the distance and use his jiu-jitsu skills, Gillard skillfully avoided transfers to the ground, and then re-launched the reactive right hand, followed up with a combination and finished off the dismantled Evan with brutal knees.
“Gillard was like a video game character today. He did exactly what he was told,”said Winkeljon. "He is a very smart fighter, and he acted strictly according to the plan, not letting emotions overwhelm him."
Mike agrees with the assertion that Gillard owes his victories to the scientific approach and psychological preparation that Winkeljon and Greg Jackson practice.
“I think so. We have fine-tuned the skills he possesses so that he can be in the right place at the right time. Naturally, it was psychologically important not to deviate from the battle plan if something went wrong,”says Vinkeljon.
Winckeljon admits that it is too early to give Gillard's technique a separate name, as Melvin himself joked after the fight. However, at the same time, he insists that there is a serious process behind the pair of victorious blows, and not just throwing hands in the direction of the opponent.
“Now Melvin has the confidence that if he finds himself in a disadvantage, he can always get out of it. And then he lets his hands work,”says Vinkeljon.
“It’s a combination of being in the right place at the right time closely related to reading your opponent’s footwork. Melvin learned it immediately. We talked a lot about this. We watched the videos. So he knew that as soon as Evan moved in a certain direction, he needed to attack with his hands."
“I think Melvin can fight anyone now. He's more confident than ever. There are some great fighters in his division, but Melvin can go up against any of them. I think he's ready for the title fight."