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

Eddie Alvarez says Gilbert Melendez 'wont say s**t' to his face

  • 24 days ago
  • 8 views

Things get heated between Eddie Alvarez and Gilbert Melendez. Eddie Alvarez and Gilbert Melendez have long sniped at each other from afar. The two lightweight combatants fought under different MMA ba read news >>

UFC Debuts in Saskatoon This August

  • 20 days ago
  • 0 views

The UFC® makes its debut in the province of Saskatchewan on Sunday, August 23 at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon. UFC FIGHT NIGHT™: HOLLOWAY vs. OLIVEIRA will feature a five-round main read news >>

Max Holloway vs. Charles Oliveira Head UFC Debut in Saskatoon

  • 19 days ago
  • 1 views

Top 10 featherweights Max Holloway and Charles Oliveira top the bill when the UFC makes its debut in Saskatoon in August. read news >>

Champ Bibiano Fernandes vs. Toni Tauru headlines ONE Championship 29

  • 15 days ago
  • 1 views

ONE Championship will makes its Myanmar debut on July 18, and the organization’s bantamweight champion is headlining the show.Filed under: News read news >>

Lyman Good Makes UFC Debut Against Craig in July

  • 11 days ago
  • 0 views

Currently on a five-fight unbeaten streak, highly-regarded New York welterweight Lyman Good will make his Octagon debut against Andrew Craig on July 15 in San Diego, replacing the injured Edgar read news >>

'UFC 188 Embedded,' No. 1: 'He's an American that thinks he's Mexican'

  • 26 days ago
  • 20 views

It’s a new fight week, which brings the debut episode of “UFC 188 Embedded” and a preview of Saturday’s pay-per-view event. In this episode, interim champ Fabricio Werdum takes a dig it at primarily read news >>

Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum: A Full Head-to-Toe Breakdown

  • 26 days ago
  • 24 views

After a 600-plus-day absence, Cain Velasquez makes his return to the Octagon. And what a time to head back, now that there's a true challenger to his crown (a challenger not named Junior dos Santos, read news >>

Eddie Alvarez: 'I'm Going to Make Gilbert Melendez Pay for Wanting to Fight Me'

  • 26 days ago
  • 2 views

Eddie Alvarez and Gilbert Melendez are set to handle their business at UFC 188 on Saturday night in Mexico City. There is a large amount of buzz surrounding the clash between two of the elite lightwe read news >>

Eddie Alvarez interview on Gilbert Melendez: 'He's in for a rude awakening,' a 'bit nervous' for UFC 188 fight

  • 26 days ago
  • 6 views

The former Bellator Lightweight king aims to climb the ladder of the UFC's 155-pound division, after suffering a loss in his Octagon debut. Alvarez meets longtime rival Gilbert Melendez at UFC 188, w read news >>

Paul Heyman Talks CM Punk's Motivation, Mindset for Signing with UFC

  • 26 days ago
  • 1 views

In spite of months of silence, the upcoming MMA debut of Phil Brooks, better known by his professional wrestling moniker CM Punk, remains one of the biggest stories of 2015. Still, many questions rem read news >>