Gilbert Melendez on Strikeforce vs. UFC, 'I have changed my goals'Posted on May 10, 2012, 06:54 PM by Mike Searson
Melendez answered the burning question of his future as a fighter. Specifically his multi-year contract with Strikeforce® and his one-time goal of being the number one Lightweight in the world: "Obviously, to be the number one guy in the world, you've got to be a champion in the UFC. I have changed my goals. Right now my goals are to put on a good show, get better in the sport, take some risks and just try to become a really good martial artist and deliver. I just want to do my thing and perform and find my motivation with my paycheck, my team and my family. I don't want to be stressed about anything I just want to go to work and do my best. I’m going to be doing this for a long time. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to have fun."
When asked about their rivalry going into their third match with each other and if it had now become personal, Melendez said: “Josh is a tough guy and our rivalry makes for a cool Norcal battle. It's good to have bragging rights in the Bay Area. I try to stay off Twitter and that stuff. Josh is a tough opponent and it's cool.”
Thomson concurred, saying: "No it is not personal; we have a lot of mutual friends being that we live in the same area. When we fight it is business, nothing personal. He is someone I still respect at the end of the day."
Thomson continued: "I think with every fight you have to work your way back. The first time we fought, he was going to get a rematch but I got injured. He got the interim title and it worked out. It was better for the promotion with both of us being champion. That's the fight game and the way it goes. Gilbert is the most mentally tough opponent that I have faced."
Melendez was finally asked how he felt about Nate Diaz giving him a shout out on UFC on Fox 3: “Words can't describe it. I was a little touched. It says a lot about my boy, Nate Diaz. The biggest day of his life and he gives me the biggest shout out I've ever had. I think he's going to win that title. He gave me a lot of love and he gives thanks to everybody. That's just the kind of guy he always is. He is a real friend.”
The Strikeforce® Heavyweight Grand Prix Final will air live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT on May 19, 2012.