Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez would already be in the UFC if Dana White had anything to say about it. Instead, Melendez will defend his title against Jorge Masvidal on December 17 in San Diego, California.
While promoting the fight this week, Melendez explained that his bout with Masvidal really doesn’t help his stock at all, and that he has everything to lose and nothing to gain.
“The biggest motivation in fighting a guy who’s underrated (is) that I’m supposed to smash,” said Melendez, in an interview with MMAjunkie.com. “It’s not for the fans; this is for myself to overcome this. I have nothing to gain here.”
Melendez (19-2) is 9-1 in Strikeforce and looks to be on his way to the UFC’s 155-pound division as soon as he fights Masvidal (22-6). That, of course, could change if Melendez is upset in the bout.
“I think I can prove a lot to myself if I can handle this business right here,” Melendez said. “This is where everyone supposedly chokes. Am I going to choke? We’ll find out.”