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Gilbert Melendez on UFC Lightweights: ‘It’s Not Like Those Guys Are Anything Special’

(Finally, some competition. PicProps: MMA Core)

From yesterday’s conference call where Nick Diaz accused Josh Koscheck and Georges St. Pierre of fighting lesser competition as Diaz himself prepares to defend his Strikeforce title against, uh, Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos to Cesar Gracie telling Ariel Helwani that he doesn’t think Greg Jackson is actually that good of a coach, things are just getting bizarre with the Scrap Pack these days. Whatever planet these dudes are living on, it’s clear that they own the place, while the rest of us are just visiting.

Enter Gilbert Melendez, who tells this week that he’s the man to beat at 155-pounds right now. All this noise about Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard? Melendez ain’t trying to hear that, see. But just in case you’re wondering if Melendez might be interested in proving his point, of signing with the UFC so he can actually fight the other top contenders in his weight class: Forget it. It’s those guys who should be coming to him.

“To be honest, these guys need to come fight me,” Melendez says. “Who are they to say I should go there? I’ve been in the sport longer than any of these guys, than Frankie Edgar (or) Gray Maynard. I won in Japan against fifty thousand people booing me. I’ve traveled; these guys have never fought internationally. I’ve put myself in the shittiest positions ever. For me to say I should go there and fight them? I am done with that. Those guys need to come over here and fight me. They need to fight me, period. I am the guy to beat. They’re not the guys to beat. It just so happens they are under the UFC banner, so they get a little bit more love because of that.”

And so what’s the reason, you might ask, why Melendez’s name is mentioned a lot less frequently than guys like Edgar, Maynard, BJ Penn or even Eddie Alvarez as the world’s top lightweight? The reason nobody feels the need to call out Melendez? It’s obvious: They’re scared, homie.

“Sometimes I take it like a compliment,” he says. “Maybe the guys know they don’t match up too well … Honestly I don’t want to say it but I think some of these guys are scared. They don’t want it … they want the easier road.

“I think I already fought the best,” Melendez goes on. “And some of the best in the UFC, it’s not like those guys are anything special or more special than the guys I have already beat. It just happens they’re in the UFC, which is a popular organization.”

Cagepotato Comments

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TheRealMrBeefy- January 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm
Melendez would not stand a chance in the UFC. He has not fought anyone special (with the exception of Guida). You heard me, Akoi sucks ass and is an embarrassment to MMA. Gil would get owned by:

Pettis... (That Showtime Kick ROCKED!!)
Cole Miller....
Guida (Todays Version)....
Jim Miller.....

I could go on longer but I think I made my Point.


No UFC fighter would willingly go to Strikeforce unless they got cut.... or if someone was stupid and get taken by bait and hook for more money (Hendo)
haterade- January 22, 2011 at 6:25 am
@ccman. exactly. mma rankins are so subjective, but the people who fight in the ufc fight a lot more often than strikeforce. strikeforce is still growing (maybe), but if you want the recognition, you need to sign with the biggest promotion
ccman- January 22, 2011 at 5:38 am
@ ziggy. you are not fighting in a different sport but it is like saying a triple a pitcher would run thru the yankees. You might down one or 2 but evventually your gonna get lit up. Gil has not dealt with big league pressure nor competition. He is talking out of his ass.
halfbreed23- January 22, 2011 at 4:37 am
Ummmm. He's right.
bobbyd- January 22, 2011 at 3:24 am
Jared b..since when is top ten competition is the competition. Don't blame Gsp if he makes them look lame.
bobbyd- January 22, 2011 at 3:19 am
Nick Diaz comenting on who Gsp fights? Diaz hasn't beaten a top ten ww in his entire career. All Gsp does is fight and beat top ten fighters.(Hughes2,Penn2,Fitch,Alves,Koshcheck2,Hardy)all ranked in the top 10 by every one when Gsp fought them, this is why he is always in the p4p discussion.The mighty Diaz is fighting Cyborg...yes Cyborg, I don't even think he is a top 100 fighter. If Diaz wants to fight the best ever he has to join the UFC( a la Shields) otherwise he shouldn't have anything to say,unless it is to acknowledge Gsp's unequivocal superiority.
NinjaNerd8- January 21, 2011 at 11:36 pm
Melendez wouldn't get past most of the UFC's gatekeepers. 3-5 fights and he's released.
ZiggysDick- January 21, 2011 at 10:07 pm
So yeah, this is basically exactly what I was talking about in the Diaz article. The "UFC owns MMA" mentality that most people accept, which non-UFC fighters buck up against.

If you don't fight in the UFC, even if you're an elite fighter (Fedor, Melendez, Alvarez, Nick Diaz, Josh Barnett), and insinuate that you're uninterested in fighting in the UFC for any reason, any reason at all, it automatically compromises your status as a fighter in the eyes of most MMA fans.

For the unacquainted regular joe, and for the majority of long-time MMA fans, the UFC = MMA. They embody the gold standard. Fight outside of the UFC, and it's basically like you're fighting in a different sport altogether.
ccman- January 21, 2011 at 7:22 pm
Aoki is 1 dimensional and looks bad anytime he leaves japan freak shows. He is only highly reguarded in grappling circles and by anti ufc types.
djp1988- January 21, 2011 at 7:14 pm
No. Just... no.
JaredB- January 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm
It didn't just "wind up" being Edgar. BJ likes to stand and trade more than work his jiu jitsu base and was winning fights with boxing, specifically his jab. Frankie can outbox him all day long, anybody who had watched either of them fight could've spotted it before Abu Dhabi (and if anybody cares, there's proof of me claiming Frankie would win this fight timestamped before the show). Add Frankie's strong wrestling base and BJ's seeming allergy to wrestling and you had a recipe for his undoing. Plus surfing in Hawaii and jumping off cliffs probably is no match for the intense cardio training a five round machine like Frankie does. BJ and Frankie would both pick apart Gil and make him look stupid.
Cestus84- January 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm
I'm going to have to agree w/ Gil on this one. We know the UFC hype machine is responsible for making us believe that Florian could've actually beaten BJ, or Joe Daddy or Sanchez or whoever. Out of all these fighters who "fought through the ranks" of UFC LWs, one was bound to beat, it was eventually going to happen, it just ended up being Edgar. Just as w/ Brock, just becuase he beat Couture for the title, doesn't mean he could've beaten whoever or however many UFC HWs that were in front of him to get to Couture to begin w/. This kind of stuff is expected in regional promotions, or hell even SF because their roster isn't that deep. SF is donig the best they can w/ what they have, basically what the UFC did back in day when they didn't have the kind of money to have so many fighters under their payroll. For example when Maurice Smith became the BattleCade HW champ, he became the "number one contender" for the UFC HW title, or the F.Shamrock/E.Inoue winner fighting for in a UFC MW "title eliminator". SF is bascially letting the other promotions do the sifting for them. First they got Aoki, and now Kawijiri. They even tried getting Alvarez. Just because the UFC has the money to hype up lesser fighters, doesn't mean they really are the best. I'll use this example. When BJ moved to WW to fight GSP for the UFC WW title, should he have won, Dana White stated his next fight would be a WW title defense against Thiago Alves, leaving his LW return in limbo. So before BJ fought GSP (before 1/31/09) only 2 top 10 LWs fought at that time, Aoki and Alvarez, Aoki won. Giving Aoki (at that time) stakes at the claim of being the #1 LW in the world because BJ would not fight again at LW until Aug of that year. Aoki fought 1 LW bout, won, moved to WW, lost and then came back down to LW and won again all before Penn defended his title against Florian. Aoki would not lose at LW again until he fought Melendez. During Aokis LW run before he met Melendez, he captured the DREAM LW title defeating top 10 LW at the time Joachim Hansen, fought and beat Segonku LW champ Mizuto Hirota. Essentially (not officially) unifying those 2 titles, which he then lost to Melendez. Now making Melendez the unofficial unified LW champ. Im not gonna say Melendez can beat any and all of the UFC LWs, but if anyone has a strong case of being considered the #1 LW in the world, its Melendez.
Rikers- January 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm
@ Good Lookin

Your 100 mill check is in the mail. You should get it around the same time Ben gets around to sending out those shirts
ccman- January 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm
Ceasar gracie loosly translates from portugese as "students really should be on lithium"
the chef- January 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm

holy shit it totally does
Goog- January 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm
If you tattoo your own name really big on yourself, I don't care if you cure cancer... you're still a douchebag.
shauno- January 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm
STRIKEFORCE: Its where the Weed at.
twoleftfeet- January 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm
If you stare at gils nose for a couple of seconds it looks like he has two sets of nostrils. I found that way more interesting than what he had to say.
JaredB- January 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm
The fact is Melendez hasn't fought anybody except Aoki and he would be like #9 or #10 if the media didn't hate Zuffa so much. I think some of the UFC's gatekeepers even like Dennis Siver and Gleison Tibau would have something for him.

I do agree with Diaz that GSP has fought lame competition though, nobody impressive since Fitch in 2008, unfortunately for his argument, that includes GSP's forthcoming fight with his teammate.
El Guapo- January 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm
You and me both, J-ebonics, you and me both..

Or shall I say "da bof of us, my nizzle, da bof of us".
intercept440- January 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm
i think ive figured it out..... SF GIVES these guys weed.....

think about it... Nick DIaz's limited comprehension and constant look of paranioa
in every interview.....

the last emperor's soft spoken look of mellowness

the REEMs constant cravings for horsemeat

Scott Cokers making a lopsided HVY Wght. tourney bracket
and his constant changing of plans. not to mention he never can give a strait answer about whats coming up....

Melendezs' obsurd comments about ufc lightwieghts?

dudes are fucking High all the time...

the only one that falls out of step is mayhem.....
they must be giving him angel dust as a substitute

you heard it here first folks
Bauh4us- January 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm
So I guess Gil doesn't count Edgar beating BJ in Abu Dhabi as fighting internationally...
jimbonics- January 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm
@El Guacamole

I don't want you to think I wasn't flying over bushes and the like as a kid pretending to be Superfly Jimmy Snuka, because I totally did that shit.
hinduheat- January 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm
Who the fuck is there at LW for Melendez to face? Go to the UFC homie, don't be scared.
steampunk22- January 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm
Seriously? Thats just fucked.

The only top 10 LW Melendez has ever fought was Aoki. Seriously. Look that shit up. The only one.