Gilbert Melendez at Strikeforce 20Gilbert Melendez makes his long awaited UFC debut on April 20, fighting for the UFC lightweight title against champion Benson Henderson.

The last reigning Strikeforce 155-pound titleholder has fought in every major MMA promotion on the planet outside of the UFC.  He’s competed in the WEC, Rumble on the Rock, Shooto, PRIDE, and Strikeforce, but it wasn’t until he signed with the UFC that he’s received the recognition he’s deserved.

“It’s crazy.  I’ve done a lot in the sport.  Still, you don’t get the credit until you’re a part of the UFC brand.  I can already see it just walking the streets the power of the UFC brand,” Meledenz said in a recent interview with former MMAWeekly.com Radio co-host Frank Trigg.

“It does feel good.  It feels good to get the respect. It’s a big milestone.  It’s quite an accomplishment just to say I’m fighting for the UFC title.  It will be even better to say I won it, but it is quite an accomplishment already,” he said.

Henderson (18-2) is arguably the toughest opponent Melendez has faced in his career.  He brings a diverse skill set and unparalleled conditioning.

“He doesn’t have the most devastating striking, the most devastating wrestling and grappling, but he transitions well and he’s a real mixed martial artist,” said Melendez about Henderson. “What he does best is he can put everything together really well.  A lot of guys are a little more predictable or do a certain strength and he’s a guy that puts it together.”

Melendez does feel he’s faces someone similar to Henderson three times before, Josh Thomson.

“I have been fighting Josh Thomson quite a bit.  He’s actually a guy like that as well, a real well-rounded mixed martial artist.  People usually have their strengths and Josh Thomson and him are guys that I feel are really good at putting it all together,” he said.

Melendez won’t know until he’s in the Octagon with Henderson at UFC on Fox 7 on April 20, but feels he sees some tendencies from Henderson that he can exploit.

“I can’t say I see his tells.  I usually get the feel while I’m out there.  I try to create reactions when I fight.  I try to make things happen,” said Melendez. “I try to make him bite, and I have my ideas to draw him into my fight, or to draw him into my fight.  But I do see some tendencies that he does, the way he circles, the way he plays with his hair.  There’s a couple of things I do see and that I want to capitalize on.

“You never really know until you lock horns with someone.  You know he has that good footwork.  You know he has that big kick.  You know he has that shot, but you don’t know when it’s coming.  The trick is to not be so scared of it, or wait for it.  People run away from the kick.  I’m not scared of the kick.  I’m not scared of the takedown.  I’m going to meet him head-on.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC 200 Free Fight: Jon Jones Makes Quick Work of Chael Sonnen

  • 28 days ago
  • 24 views

Jon Jones defended his light heavyweight belt for the fifth time when he defeated Chael Sonnen at UFC 159. Check out that fight. read news >>

Brooks enjoying time before his UFC debut Friday

  • 24 days ago
  • 1 views

Will Brooks makes his much-anticipated UFC debut on Friday against Ross Pearson at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale on FS1. read news >>

Ross Pearson Makes Quick Return, Jumps Up to Welterweight at UFC 201

  • 16 days ago
  • 9 views

Ross Pearson has agreed to take a short-notice fight and move up to welterweight to fight Jorge Masvidal at UFC 201. read news >>

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

  • 12 days ago
  • 94 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

  • 10 days ago
  • 21 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)

  • 9 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 >>

Cris 'Cyborg' Justino Says She Wants to Fight Ronda Rousey at UFC 205

  • 7 days ago
  • 18 views

If Ronda Rousey makes her return at UFC 205 on Nov. 12, Cris "Cyborg" Justino looms as a formidable and willing opponent. ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto reported what Justino had to say regarding a prospec read news >>

UFC Fight Night Chicago Video: Holly Holm – Warrior Code

  • 6 days ago
  • 19 views

Go one-on-one with Holly Holm and find out what makes the former champ a UFC warrior. Holm faces Valentina Shevchenko on Saturday. read news >>

Cris 'Cyborg' Justino Says She Wants to Fight Ronda Rousey at UFC 205

  • 7 days ago
  • 1 views

If Ronda Rousey makes her return at UFC 205 on Nov. 12, Cris "Cyborg" Justino looms as a formidable and willing opponent. Justino posted comments on social media Friday regarding a prospective bout w read news >>

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

  • 6 days ago
  • 11 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 >>