Gilbert Melendez: “I Really Truly Believe I’m the No. 1 Fighter in the World”

By Damon Martin

Now that he has a new contract in place, Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is ready to get back to the business of fighting, and he’s ready to prove he’s the top 155-pounder in the world.

Melendez hasn’t set foot in the cage in nearly a year following his win over Shinya Aoki last April. Since that time, Melendez welcomed a new baby into the world and recovered from a thumb injury, but now he’s healthy and ready to dominate again.

The first order of business was getting a new deal done with Strikeforce, and now that it’s behind him, he’s ready to fight again.

“There’s a couple of things to weigh out with Strikeforce. Strikeforce is a great organization, and they’ve taken care of me really well,” Melendez told MMAWeekly Radio. “Everyone knows the UFC is the biggest organization out there, branding yourself and getting your name out there, it’s no secret that they’re the best. There wasn’t much to weigh out. These agreements are structured for a champion not easily to walk away, but there was things to debate about with Strikeforce here and there.

“I think it’s important for me to dominate now. I really truly believe I’m the No. 1 fighter in the world, and the only way I’m going to get that spot is by dominating,” Melendez said. “I can’t have these draws or get knocked down or almost lose, I need to completely dominate everyone out there. I think I’m ready to do that.


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