The time has come for Gilbert Melendez to take his talents to the UFC, as the current Strikeforce lightweight champion confirmed Saturday night that UFC President Dana White is planning on bringing him to the roster as soon as possible. If the move does indeed happen it will mark the fourth Strikeforce title-holder brought over from the organization since Zuffa purchased it earlier this year.
“It’s exciting that the boss (White) definitely wants me over to the UFC, because it’s definitely a good move for me,” Melendez said in a conversation with MMAWeekly. “As far as I’m concerned, (Jorge) Masvidal is the next guy on the list, and I’m focusing 100% on him so before I get too excited, I’m just focusing on tearing that guy up.”
Melendez and Masvidal are scheduled to meet in December for the Strikeforce title. While it would seem Melendez is planning on facing Masvidal, White’s statements make it seem like he won’t be taking the fight in Strikeforce, which is fine with Melendez.
“Basically, it would be a phone call from Dana saying drop everything, you’re coming to the UFC,” said Melendez, on what it would take for him to become a UFC fighter. “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.”
Current UFC 155-pound champ Frankie Edgar has a title defense set for next weekend against Gray Maynard, while contenders Clay Guida and Ben Henderson are scheduled to meet in November. Melendez, however, would likely factor right into the title talk if he signs.
“Whatever Dana wants,” Melendez said. “Whatever he wants, I’ll do.”
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE