twitter google

Gilbert Melendez: ‘Yes, I Fight UFC Now’

The final Strikeforce show came and went, and Gilbert Melendez was nowhere to be seen.

Melendez, the current Strikeforce lightweight champion, was expected to compete on the card, but a shoulder injury kept him on the sidelines.

Now, with the promotion having closed the doors Saturday night, Melendez can call himself a UFC fighter.

“It does (mean a lot). I can finally say that. When people tell me, ‘Yo, you fight UFC?’ I can finally say, ‘Yes, I fight UFC now,'” said Melendez, during an interview with “For a minute that was a hard question to answer, but I think that might be the most rewarding thing about it.”

Melendez controlled the Strikeforce lightweight division since 2009, going 7-0. He was forced out of two planned meetings with Pat Healy after suffering an injury in training, but “El Nino” said he will always look back on his career in Strikeforce with great admiration.

“A lot of mixed emotions with Strikeforce going down,” Melendez said. “But, you know, also a new chapter in my life and it looks like my next fight will be in the UFC and that is exciting for me.”

Photo credit: Showtime

Follow MMAConvert

Fight Cards

Bellator 163: McGeary vs. Davis

Event Date: November 4, 2016
Broadcast: Spike

UFC Fight Night 98: Dos Anjos vs. Ferguson

Event Date: November 5, 2016
Broadcast: TBD

Bellator 164: Koreshkov vs. Lima

Event Date: November 11, 2016
Broadcast: Spike Sports

UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor

Event Date: November 12, 2016
Broadcast: Pay-per-view, Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass

Bellator 165: Chandler Vs. Henderson

Event Date: November 19, 2016
Broadcast: Spike TV

UFC Fight Night 99: Mousasi vs. Hall 2

Event Date: November 19, 2016
Broadcast: TBD