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

Former Pro Wrestler David Cash Makes MMA Debut at Age 47 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

Under the Kid Kash moniker, David Cash professionally wrestled for many of the top organizations in the world, with stints in ECW, WCW, TNA and the WWE. read news >>

On Short Notice, Joe Soto Makes Short Work of Marco Beltrán (UFC Mexico City Highlights) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

Joe Soto may have take the fight on a week's notice, but he made quick work of Marco Beltrán at UFC Fight Night 98 on Saturday in Mexico City. read news >>

Get connected! We're taking you behind the scenes of UFC 205 in New York

  • 26 days ago
  • 9 views

The UFC makes its New York City debut this week with UFC 205. Here’s how to stay up to date and go behind the scenes with all of our social-media accounts this week.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Manny Pacquiao Makes Triumphant Return to the Ring | FIGHTLAND

  • 26 days ago
  • 2 views

Filipino spectators watch a live broadcast of Filipino Senator and boxer Manny Pacquiao versus US boxer Jessie Vargas (Photo by Mark R. Cristino/EPA) There weren’t many people out there who believed read news >>

Gilbert Melendez thinks Nate Diaz will fight UFC 205's McGregor vs. Alvarez winner

  • 23 days ago
  • 16 views

Gilbert Melendez echoes his colleagues who aren’t that upset Conor McGregor is getting a shot at Eddie Alvarez’s lightweight title.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

After scrapped UFC 205 bout, Donald Cerrone says Demian Maia 'only fight that makes sense'

  • 22 days ago
  • 18 views

NEW YORK – Donald Cerrone is upset, not surprisingly, after his UFC 205 bout with Kelvin Gastelum was scrapped just one day prior to the eventFiled under: News, UFC read news >>

Fireworks Backstage Following UFC 205 Pre-Fight Press Conference | MMAWeekly.com

  • 22 days ago
  • 80 views

Things got heated between the main event fighters during the UFC 205 pre-fight press conference and spilled over to backstage for the women's strawweights. read news >>

Legacy FC 62 highlights: How much did this eye-poke affect the headlining title fight?

  • 21 days ago
  • 33 views

Few things can affect a fight like an accidental eye-poke, as we learned in Friday’s Legacy FC 62 headliner.Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Featured Videos, News, Videos read news >>

Conor McGregor Makes History, Dominates Eddie Alvarez (UFC 205 Results) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 21 days ago
  • 26 views

Featherweight champion Conor McGregor entered the Octagon inside New York City's Madison Square Garden on Saturday trying to make history at UFC 205. read news >>

Conor McGregor's True Greatness Is Understanding History Even as He Makes It

  • 20 days ago
  • 26 views

Conor McGregor ended 2016 the same way he started it—asking someone to bring him his damn belt. McGregor had just dispatched Eddie Alvarez with shocking ease in the main event of Saturday’s UFC 205. read news >>