Following the controversial loss to UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, Gilbert Melendez is eager to get back in the cage and mix it up with the best. ‘El’ Nino’ was featured on MMAWeekly’s Knockout Radio where the Cesar Gracie Jujitsu fighter made it clear he wants top contenders on the lightweight ladder. Melendez said, “There’s a lot of good guys. Whoever is hot right now. Whoever is the hot dude who is closest to getting that title shot, I’ll take it.”
“If it’s ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, if it’s the loser between Aldo and Pettis, if it’s Pat Healy, if it’s Joe Lauzon, Diego Sanchez, who is it? You let me know who will get me quicker to the top, but it would be a good matchup with all these guys,” Melendez went on to say, keeping the playing field wide open for possible competitors to face in the squared-circle. It is evident Gilbert is looking to fight anyone that will propel him back to title contention and get a second crack at Benson Henderson’s coveted strap.
Almost anyone at least.
The former Strikeforce lightweight champion let the MMA community who he is not interested in fighting, and I certainly can’t blame him. Melendez told MMAweekly, “All these people are new faces for me. I just don’t want to fight Josh Thomson or Jorge Masvidal.” Both Josh Thomson and Jorge Masvidal suffered defeat to Melendez in the late Strikeforce promotion, and while Thomson is coming off a very impressive win in his UFC debut, the Thomson vs. Melendez trilogy should for the time being stay a trilogy. “I’m sure he wants to fight someone else, too, and so does Jorge,” stated Melendez, “Those guys are going to prove that they’re legit.”
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