Terry Etim will be world's best lightweight - Paul Kelly

ESPN staff
January 24, 2011

Melvin Guillard claims he is ready to rule the UFC lightweight terrain, but Britain's Paul Kelly insists team-mate Terry Etim is the true world class talent at 155lbs.

Guillard stopped Evan Dunham inside the opening round at Fight for the Troops 2 on Saturday, and then instantly demanded a lightweight title shot from president Dana White. "Honestly, I feel I should be next in line," Guillard said. "It's been a long time coming."

The reality is that the 27-year-old faces a further wait for his shot at the belt, with champion Frankie Edgar set to rematch Gray Maynard, before the winner meets WEC champion Anthony Pettis - if Pettis beats Clay Guida.

Kelly claims the whole situation will become insignificant once Team Kaobon colleague Etim returns to the cage, following a spell out due to injury.

"Terry's back to his best in the gym, I don't know when he's fighting, something like March, April or May. March maybe. He hasn't got anything lined up yet," Kelly told ESPN.

"He's going to get up there with the top dogs in the division. He's f*****g unbelievable. I stand by my words, he's going to be the best lightweight in the world. He'll beat any of the other lightweights in the world as he progresses through his career.

"He needs another couple of fights, but when he gets to the top, he's going to be a tough one to remove. I truly believe that."

If there are doubts over Etim's credentials, they surround his takedown defence and wrestling, following a submission defeat to Rafael Dos Anjos - his first loss in five fights. However, as Kelly points out, the Briton only ended up on his back due to his own desire to end the bout with a guillotine choke.

"Terry's wrestling is sick. His only loss in the last five fights was to Rafael Dos Anjos when he locked on that guillotine but gassed his arms out. If he hadn't done that, he would have wiped the floor with Dos Anjos.

"You can't submit a black belt. If you punch a black belt in the face he becomes a brown belt. Keep doing it and he's a white belt. But Terry needs to understand that by doing it. I've beaten a black belt in that way, Terry has never done that. He's got too much respect for them and thinks he should try to submit them.

"But his time will come."

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