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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

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