Gilbert Melendez - Strikeforce Barnett vs CormierGilbert Melendez has been everywhere and done everything in the mixed martial arts world… well, everywhere but the Octagon and everything but fighting for a UFC belt.

But now, he has that opportunity set before him. Melendez challenges UFC champion Benson Henderson at UFC on Fox 7 on Saturday. It is the opportunity to get off the roller coaster and finally “legitimize” all the prior accomplishments in his career in the eyes of the masses.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride. I’ve done some good things,” said Melendez during a Thursday media scrum. “And now I’m here for a title shot. At the end of the day, it’s been a good journey.

“It does (mean a lot to me). I feel like I get a lot of respect from everyone out here, from my peers and people that know what they’re talking about… I think not for myself, but I understand how people perceive me. If I win, it legitimizes everything, if I don’t, it won’t.”

Check out what Gilbert Melendez had to say during Thursday’s media scrum interview in San Jose, Calif.

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