Most of the talk going into Saturday’s Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal has surrounded lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.
Will he get the chance to fight in the UFC? Is he really the No. 1 lightweight in the world?
Well his opponent, Jorge Masvidal, has something to say about that.
Masvidal has won his last two fights in a row, including handing Billy Evangelista his first loss, as well as defeating former EliteXC champion K.J. Noons. Now the Florida based fighter is ready to add another crown to his trophy room, and it has Gilbert Melendez’s name on it.
“I’ve just got to go out there and put in work. Take care of business Saturday night,” Masvidal said about the fight when speaking with MMAWeekly Radio.
When looking at Melendez, it’s hard for Masvidal not to give the Strikeforce champion his props. He knows just how good Melendez can be, and he’s definitely not taking him lightly.
“Over his overall body of work, I definitely think he’s up there. A lot of times styles make fights. He might fight somebody else and lose to the other top ranked guys, but overall, as a body of work, I definitely do think he’s top one or two in the world,” Masvidal said about Melendez.
That said, Masvidal won’t get into the business of being intimidated by Melendez or any other fighter. The former street fighter turned mixed martial artist would likely stand toe-to-toe with heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos if there was a paycheck and a challenge involved, so he’s not backing down from Melendez.
As a matter of fact, for all the praise that Melendez gets heaped on him, Masvidal still sees a lot of holes in his game. He also knows that people can talk about Melendez all they want, but on Saturday night, he’s the only one standing across the cage with a fight on his hands.
“I think his cardio is his best asset. In all particular areas, I don’t think he stands out in any area, like his striking, his wrestling, or his jiu-jitsu. I just think he’s solid in all areas and I just think his cardio stands out and his willingness to fight. His technique is not all there, he knows that too, and I think that’s why he relies on his aggressiveness, coming forward,” said Masvidal.
“A fight’s a fight. I don’t care what people are saying about him or what they’re not saying about him. I don’t want to lose to anybody and I want to win impressively against everybody.”
Throughout his career, Masvidal has shown flashes of brilliance in his performances. From his knockout over UFC veteran Yves Edwards to his dominant victory over K.J. Noons, Masvidal knows what it feels like to reach for the sky.
Against Gilbert Melendez, he plans to showcase his true masterpiece.
“You can bet the house on it. I’m going to paint my Picasso with this one,” Masvidal stated. “I’m going to lay it all on the line.”