Gilbert Melendez didn’t exactly look forward to fighting Josh Thomson for a third time, but after pulling out a split decision to win the trilogy, he thinks he’ll be more excited for his next Strikeforce lightweight title defense.

“It’s a little tough getting up for these fights but more tough getting up for Josh Thomson, a real tough guy and a guy that you never look forward to fighting and you’d thought you’d moved passed it,” Melendez told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “I’m just glad that’s over with. But someone like [Pat] Healy, I think that could be pretty interesting.”

Healy, who has won four straight, could be Melendez’s next opponent. There have also been rumors that a challenger from the UFC could cross over to Strikeforce.

“That would be great, and maybe it will happen,” Melendez said. “Maybe it will happen. I just can’t be worrying about it too much or let it get to me too much. I just have to continue to work hard and do my thing. But it would be really cool if for some reason the fight gods decided to send someone over for me that gets us real motivated and makes the fans real excited and gets people interested in seeing it.”

Melendez is in a tough spot. He’s ranked No. 3 in the world, but most of the best lightweights are in the UFC. In Strikeforce he could be left fighting opposition not quite at his level, putting him in a situation where he gets criticized even after wins.

“As of now I’m just going to have to deal with the criticism,” Melendez said. “I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t in my situation right now. I don’t even want to preach that I’m the number one fighter in the world anymore. I just want to go do my thing in Strikeforce, and if somehow that opportunity comes up where I can prove it and fight some of the top talent, then I’m definitely up for it. But as of now, I’m going to be doing my thing here. I’m happy with Strikeforce and I’m happy with Showtime overall. Just sometimes you want different talent, but I’m happy overall.”

At times it has looked as if Melendez would make the jump to the UFC. For now, though, his home is Strikeforce.

“It’s tough, man, but right now at least I know I’m going to be in Strikeforce,” he said. “It was a little more tough when you think you might be going and you don’t know what’s going on. You have hopes. You have mixed emotions. Now I know I’m in Strikeforce and I know what I’m dealing with. I’m going to be up for my next fight. I’m going to be up for it.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:25:50).

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Cat Zingano Could Have Quit Fighting, but Didn’t Want to be a Product of Circumstance (UFC 200 Video)

  • 17 days ago
  • 9 views

The past couple of years have been rough for UFC bantamweight contender Cat Zingano, but as a proud mom, she refused to give up. read news >>

UFC on FOX 20 Road to the Octagon: Gilbert Melendez vs. Edson Barboza

  • 8 days ago
  • 93 views

Go inside the lives and training camps of former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez and versatile striker Edson Barboza. read news >>

Gilbert Melendez vs. Edson Barboza: A Head-to-Toe Breakdown

  • 7 days ago
  • 20 views

UFC on Fox 20 has a lightweight co-main event that fans will be standing to watch. The human highlight reel that is Edson Barboza (17-4) takes on the returning Gilbert Melendez (22-5) in Chicago. Bar read news >>

Gilbert Melendez on The Diaz Brothers: ‘Hate Them or Love Them, You’ve Got to Respect Them’ (Video)

  • 6 days ago
  • 43 views

Lightweight contender Gilbert Melendez talks about the roots of his training camp, specifically his teammates Nate and Nick Diaz and what it's like to train with the two. read news >>

UFC on FOX 20 Results: Edson Barboza Kicks His Way to Decision Win Over Gilbert Melendez

  • 2 days ago
  • 8 views

Sixth-ranked lightweight Edson Barboza put on a leg kick clinic in the UFC on Fox 20 co-main event on Saturday, defeating former title contender Gilbert Melendez. read news >>

UFC on Fox 20 Video Highlights: Edson Barboza’s Win Over Gilbert Melendez

  • 2 days ago
  • 15 views

Check out the highlights as lightweight contenders Edson Barobza and Gilbert Melendez squared off in the UFC on Fox 20 co-main event on Saturday. read news >>

Gilbert Melendez vs. Edson Barboza Results: Winner and Reaction from UFC on Fox

  • 2 days ago
  • 26 views

At UFC on Fox 20 in Chicago, No. 6 lightweight Edson Barboza (18-4) took a unanimous decision over former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (22-6). Barboza's vicious kicks to the legs read news >>