Gilbert Melendez: “There’s a Couple of Things I Do See and That I Want to Capitalize On”


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

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 >>

Related News

  • 10 days ago
  • 14 views

"Showtime" also talks about his time thus far on the set of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20 alongside "El Nino" as well as the level of talent the 115-pound female fighters have shown. So much for that interim title talk. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Anthony Pettis has a date for his first-ever title defense set, as "Showtime" confirmed on The MMA Hour that he will be going toe-to-toe against Gilbert Melendez on Dec., 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. But, that's as far as read news >>

  • 10 days ago
  • 8 views

Anthony Pettis will defend his UFC lightweight title December 6 against top contender Gilbert Melendez at UFC 181. The fight will be Pettis' first title defense. For that matter, it's the first bout of any kind for "Showtime" since he won the belt from Benson Henderson last August at UFC 164. Pettis himself broke the news Monday while a guest on The MMA Hour broadcast with host Ariel Helwani. "December 6 is going to be the date of my next fight; it'll be out here in Vegas," Pettis said. "I got w read news >>

  • 10 days ago
  • 19 views

The worldwide leader for mixed martial arts and UFC news, MMA News, UFC Rumors, MMA Rankings, Interviews, Videos, UFC Results, and UFC Blog read news >>

  • 9 days ago
  • 86 views

Anthony Pettis will return to the octagon to defend his UFC lightweight title against Gilbert Melendez in December. Anthony Pettis will return to UFC action this December on what could be a massive card. The UFC lightweight champion announced on yesterday's edition of The MMA Hour that he will be facing Gilbert Melendez on December 6 in Las Vegas. That event, which appears as though it will be UFC 181, still doesn't have a venue set as of now. However, the December 6 date is also the event that read news >>

  • 5 days ago
  • 2 views

Gilbert Burns’ neighbors in Brazil’s Niteroi state of Rio de Janeiro include Paulo Filho, Ricardo Arona, Thales Leites and Rafael dos Anjos. Now Vitor Belfort’s jiu-jitsu coach will look for his own big-time success. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 30 views

It was a long time in the making, but ADCC absolute and IBJJF World champion Robert Drysdale's UFC debut went about as well as one could hope. Facing Keith Berish in the opening bout of The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale card, Drysdale - the hometown Las Vegas, Nevada favorite - took control of the bout right away. The jiu-jitsu black belt level changed for a double leg takedown, which pushed Berish into the fence. The takedown proved successful and right away Drysdale went to work. Passing almost i read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 32 views

UFC on FOX analysts Kenny Florian, Daniel Cormier and host Karyn Bryant welcome former UFC welterweight contender Chris Lytle to the analyst desk for UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller coverage. read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 316 views

For Gilbert Melendez, the ultimate prize may be off in the distance, but he has never taken his mind off the UFC lightweight title. He will have his shot against Anthony Pettis at the UFC's 2014 year-end event in December. The UFC contender and former, longtime Strikeforce champion has been out of action since defeating Diego Sanchez in an instant classic at UFC 166 in October, but the motivation for the Skrap Pack representative's hiatus have been just. His next bout will be for the lightweight read news >>

  • 10 days ago
  • 6 views

If it was up to Anthony Pettis, he'd handle his critics the way he used on the streets of Milwaukee as a kid. "Where I grew up if someone talks any type of mess you handle it a certain way, and that's what I'm used to," Pettis said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. But the oft-criticized UFC lightweight champion knows things aren't that simple anymore. "As the champ things are a little different now," acknowledged Pettis, who is currently shooting the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter out read news >>