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Gilbert Melendez Excited About UFC Offer, Happy to Be Dana White’s Hitman at 155

Posted on by Damon Martin

Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez

Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez

It was an exciting night for Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez on Saturday in Washington, D.C. … and he wasn’t even fighting.

The No. 1 ranked lightweight in the world was informed that UFC president Dana White announced Melendez was headed to the UFC sooner rather than later, and they wanted the current Strikeforce champion in the UFC right now.

While no formal offers have come across the table just yet, Melendez spoke exclusively to MMAWeekly.com on Saturday night after hearing the news.

“It’s exciting that the boss definitely wants me over to the UFC, because it’s definitely a good move for me,” Melendez said. “As far as I’m concerned (Jorge) Masvidal is the next guy on my list, and I’m focusing 100-percent on him, so before I get too excited, I’m just focusing on tearing that guy up. But definitely my goal is to be in the UFC, so if we can get that there sooner than later, I’m all for it.”

Melendez has been preparing for a December match-up with top contender Masvidal, but it appears his reign as Strikeforce lightweight champion may have come to an abrupt end.

So what’s it going to take for Melendez to officially become a UFC fighter?

“Basically, it would be a phone call from Dana saying drop everything, you’re coming to the UFC,” Melendez explained. “I’d be there in a heartbeat. Money doesn’t really mean nothing at this point, my money’s good. I’m happy with my money. If he told me to come fight for the same price, I would do it.”

White said they are hoping to finalize a deal to bring Melendez to the Octagon very, very soon, like yesterday, and all but confirmed he would not be facing Masvidal in December.

As far as who Melendez might face in his UFC debut, most would point to him getting the winner of the UFC 136 main event between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard as the most likely candidate.

White says that nothing is guaranteed at this point because sometimes a top contender in the lightweight division is made mostly out of timing, but Melendez getting a shot on day one is feasible.

As far as Melendez is concerned, he says line them up and he’ll knock them down… title fight or no title fight.

“Either way, it’s inevitable. I’m coming for all the 55-pounders and I really want to prove I’m No. 1. It would be nice to get a title shot, but if I need to come through it and work my way up, I’m more than willing. Part of being No. 1 is beating everyone, every match-up. I think I can beat every style out there. It doesn’t really matter to me,” said Melendez.

“Whatever Dana wants. Whatever he wants, I’ll do.”

So it sounds like it’s just a matter of a phone call and a few contracts being signed and Gilbert Melendez will get to realize his long time dream and will soon become a UFC fighter.


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  • waterboy76

    He should get a shot at the title right away. No one else really deserves it as much as him. And if they do give it to him, then have a #1 contender match be Melvin Guillard (assuming he wins on sat) vs the winner of Ben Henderson and clay guida.

    • shakejunt

      I like your thought process here.

      Let’s just hope that Gray wins and we don’t have to eventually see a 4th snoozefest

      • saads84

        you are an idiot if u though the last edgar maynard fight was a snoozefest. moron

        • MrAdidas

          I 2nd your comment! “4th Snoozefest”?!? WTF were you watching the last time they fought?!? One of the best fights EVER!!! Douche SAC!

  • camthemusicman

    I can’t wait to see Gill in the UFC I think he’s finally ready to take his skill to the next level.The only way to get better

  • Mario

    Well, if Dana’s saying, “RIGHT NOW” – then he SHOULD get the immediate title shot, right? If there’s such a demand for him, then it would be stupid to still make him go through a contender type fight. This ain’t Anthony Pettis!

    This guy is one of the best in the world at 155. You guys have him ranked #1 and I agree with that! Gilbert is a finisher, unlike Frankie who just guts out decisions. They should give him the same treatment they gave Nick Diaz. Gilbert won’t bust any no-show type shit, so it’s all good.

  • ruditanto

    it’s interesting how this guy is considered one of the best LW in the world after he’s beaten three overrated Japanese fighters, Josh Thompson and Jorge Masvidal in the last 2 years. Seriously, this Strikeforce hype train has got to stop. First Jake Shields, then Nick Diaz now Gil Melendez?

    • Mario

      I wouldn’t call Aoki, or Kawajiri overrated. These are guys that consistently ranked in the top 10. Kawajiri as of now, not anymore, since he dropped to 145. And Aoki, well he’s won 6 straight fights since his loss to Gilbert. Still a decent fighter! And you also have to take into consideration that when Gil beat Aoki, he was ranked high and hadn’t lost like that in a while. This was even before the new years disaster!

      Melendez is a great fighter. You just don’t see that. And you included Jorge Masvidal in his list of victims, but technically, that fight hasn’t even happened yet, and it’s probably not happening anymore due to this sudden interest in Dana wanting El Nino in the UFC.

      LOL. Good eye buddy!

    • Cptmats

      I agree, Melendez may look good in Strike force but The UFC is a whole new ball game and there are a few guys who should get a tittle shot before Gilbert ! He should earn his shot like everyone else !

      • Danjitsu

        How trite.

        You make it sound like he is some johnny come lately when the man has almost 20 victories against mostly solid to excellent competition over a 9 year career. Have you actually watched any of Melendez’s fights? Do you actually know anything about any of the guys he has beaten?
        You do realize that one of those guys Melendez has beaten is top UFC contender Clay Guida, right? Sure it was an old fight, but Clay’s one of those guy’s I’m assuming you think deserves a title shot since people seem to love him for some reason. That guy is a glorified gatekeeper with a couple of nice wins who has no right calling for a shot with recent losses to Sanchez and Florian, but since he fights for a The UFC “which is a whole new ballgame” I guess that makes him automaticlly better than anybody else out there. Get real.

  • emoney911

    ya guida hasnt beaten anyone godly yet but pettis but bendo will beat guida