Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is coming to the UFC. When it happens, officially, is unknown, but Melendez is sure to be among those signed after Strikeforce closes up in January.
When Melendez does, he has just one opponent in mind: UFC 155-pound champion Benson Henderson. “El Nino” recently told MMAWeekly.com that he feels as though “Bendo” cannot be called the best lightweight in the world until he gets through him.
“If he wants to be undoubtedly No. 1, I think that would be a good victory for him to prove it or for me to prove otherwise,” Melendez said. “The fire was lit a couple of weeks ago. Since the buzz has been out, the fire has been lit.”
Melendez is likely referencing talks that started after Henderson defeated his teammate, Nate Diaz, via decision earlier this month. Diaz claimed Melendez would defeat Henderson, and the fighter himself claimed to have an answer for Henderson’s style.
Melendez remains on the sidelines, rehabbing a shoulder injury suffered in training with Jake Shields. The injury cancelled a pair of planned meetings with Pat Healy.