If Dana White has his say, current Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will soon be part of the UFC’s 155-pound division.
Talking with reporters after UFC Live: Cruz vs. Johnson Saturday night, White disclosed that they are looking to bring Melendez into the UFC in the immediate future.
“Yeah, we do want to bring Gilbert Melendez over, and we’re looking at it right now,” said White, according to MMAjunkie.com. “We’re looking to bring Gilbert Melendez over ASAP.”
Melendez (19-2) has a fight scheduled with Jorge Masvidal in December for Strikeforce, but that could be cancelled to excel his movement into the UFC. White also said that Fabricio Werdum (14-5-1) is likely to join the UFC’s heavyweight division soon as well.
In an exclusive interview with MMAWeekly.com, Melendez discussed the move to the UFC, and seemed very excited for the opportunity to compete against the likes of current UFC champ Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Clay Guida and Ben Henderson.
“It’s exciting that the boss (White) definitely wants me over to the UFC, because it’s definitely a good move for me,” Melendez said. “Basically, it would be a phone call from Dana saying drop everything you’re coming to the UFC. I’d be there in a heartbeat.”
Edgar and Maynard are set to meet on Saturday night at UFC 136, but White said that it is possible Melendez moves right into the No. 1 contender spot. Guida and Henderson will face off in November in a bout that seemed likely to crown the new top contender to the title, but the arrival of Melendez may change that.
“(The title shot) is a possibility,” White said. “The thing is with that division, it’s so stacked. We’ll see what happens with the timing.”