Though lightweight Gilbert Melendez has never been one to underestimate an opponent, even “El Nino” would likely admit to lacking some enthusiasm regarding his final few rumbles under the Strikeforce banner. A Top 10 competitor for years, Melendez was relegated to fighting the promotion’s best rather than the MMA’s elite.
Now, with a UFC deal in place, Melendez is finally getting a chance to show he belongs at the top of the rankings when he faces champion Benson Henderson on April 20 at UFC on FOX 7. The opportunity has Melendez jacked about jumping into the ring with Henderson as he expressed freely during a recent interview with Inside MMA.
“Just knowing I’m having a title fight in the UFC, I’m motivated as heck. I wanna run. I wanna spar. I wanna train. It’s unbelievable that it’s finally happening.”
“I thought I was going to be more excited when they said (I was) going to be fighting for the UFC lightweight title…more happy. In fact, I’m a little more focused and it’s a different feeling. I’ll be a lot more happy when I win the title.”
SOURCE: Inside MMA
PHOTO CREDIT: Strikeforce