Gilbert Melendez headed to the UFC "ASAP," puts all 155'ers on noticePosted on October 2, 2011, 03:46 PM by Joey Santosus
If the UFC Lightweight division isn't already stacked enough, you can expect it to be even more top-heavy as soon as possible.
That's according to UFC President Dana White, who told members of the media following Saturday's UFC on Versus 6 post-fight press conference that the promotion is planning to bring over Strikeforce 155-pound kingpin Gilbert Melendez "ASAP."
"We do want to bring Gilbert Melendez over and we’re looking at it right now," White revealed (via MMAWeekly.com). "We’re going to bring Melendez over ASAP. We’re looking to bring him over now."
Melendez (19-2) is considered by many to be among the top three Lightweights in the world. Since capturing the Strikeforce title with a 2006 split decision victory over current UFC contender Clay Guida, "El Nino" has suffered defeat only twice, both of which were later avenged.
In his latest defense, Melendez picked-up a vicious first-round TKO win over Japanese stand-out Tatsuya Kawajiri, and though he is currently scheduled to square off with Jorge Masvidal in December, those plans are expected to be scrapped if (or when) the Cesar Gracie trained fighter is able to strike a deal with the UFC.
It's welcomed news for Melendez, who in the past has been vocal about his wishes to join training partners Jake Shields and the Diaz brothers in the world's most prominent MMA promotion.
"It’s exciting that the boss definitely wants me over to the UFC, because it’s definitely a good move for me," Melendez explained. "Definitely my goal’s to be in the UFC so if we can get that there sooner than later, I’m all for it. Basically, it would (only take) a phone call from Dana saying drop everything you’re coming to the UFC. I’d be there in a heartbeat. Money doesn’t really mean nothing at this point, my money’s good, I’m happy with my money, if he told me to come fight for the same price, I would do it."
Although White wasn't opposed to the idea of granting Melendez an immediate title shot, no opponent has been confirmed at this time. For Melendez, however, it's all the same to him, as he says he's gunning for every man in the division.
"Either way it’s inevitable. I’m coming for all the 55lbers and I really want to prove I’m No. 1. It would be nice to get a title shot, but if I need to come through it and work my way up, I’m more than willing. Part of being No. 1 is beating everyone, every match-up, I think I can beat every style out there. It doesn’t really matter to me," said Melendez.