Gilbert Melendez is not usually one for pre-fight trash talk, 'El Nino' prefers to do his talking with his fists. In the lead up to Melendez's Lightweight Championship tilt with Benson Henderson, much has been said about the Champion being the better athlete. I don't think this has got to Melendez, but I do think it has helped fuel him up for the fight.
Melendez spoke with MMAJunkie recently:
“No matter what, there’s heat. I respect Benson. He’s the #1 guy right now. He’s the UFC champ. But come fight day, I’m going to try to kill him, I have bad intentions, and it is personal. I don’t need to be mad at someone. I’m a professional, and I know how to turn on the switch and turn it on and off when I need to. Some people turn it on a month out. I turn it on right when it’s time.”
A lot of the fight game is mental preparation, I can't help but remember when fighters put too much pressure on themselves and their fears or emotions take control causing sub par performances, or shock losses. I hope this isn't the case for Melendez.
“It’s going to be heated. It’s going to be personal. It’s just how I fight – I’m going to try to kill the guy.”
“I don’t need anyone talking crap on me. But let it be known, on fight day, Benson is not my friend. In fact, he’s the enemy that day and I have to destroy him. That’s the mentality I have to have.”
Well this interview certainly adds to the pre-fight hype, I'm starting to think my early FOTN pick of Mir vs. Cormier may be wrong....Stay tuned to Lowkick!