(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 RingsideReport.com 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.”