Gilbert Melendez Finds Motivation In Evolving As MMA Fighter

Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is viewed as one of the elite fighters in any division.

Melendez, who will defend his title against Pat Healy next Saturday night at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy, was asked during a conference call what motivates him to continue fighting after several successful title defenses:

You always remain a student in this sport. Sometimes, things get stale, you hit a plateau, so you have to re-evaluate everything and improve as a fighter. When you are a champion, sometimes that is harder to do. I found my motivation in just wanting to continue to learn and become a better mixed martial artist. I am blessed with a really cool job.

The 30-year-old Melendez (21-2) has defended his title four times since unifying it with a win over Josh Thomson. His last loss was in 2008 to Thomson.

I look forward to fighting Pat. I want to cast myself against new blood, new opponents. Pat likes to come forward and is old-school. I consider myself an old-school fighter, as well.

Healy is 28-16 in his long MMA career, and has won five consecutive bouts.

Photo credit: Showtime Sports

  • Bill Schumer

    Healy wins.

  • LeoLarios

    No way Healy wins! Gilbert takes it easy! And to top it off.. Gilbert gets to fight Diego Sanchez in a cross promotion fight with the UFC. That would be awesome.

Follow MMAConvert

Fight Cards

The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale

Event Date: April 16, 2014
Broadcast: Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass

Bellator 117: Lima vs. Hawn

Event Date: April 18, 2014
Broadcast: Spike TV

UFC on FOX 11: Werdum vs Browne

Event Date: April 19, 2014
Broadcast: FOX, FOX Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass

UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira

Event Date: April 26, 2014
Broadcast: Pay-per-view, Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass

Bellator 118: Dantas vs. Warren

Event Date: May 2, 2014
Broadcast: Spike TV,

Bellator 119: Cooper vs. Halsey

Event Date: May 9, 2014
Broadcast: Spike TV