Gilbert Melendez

“[Shinya Aoki]’s No. 2 in the world and I was the lucky guy who won this fight, and they’ve been talking about bringing him to Strikeforce. Whether it’s in his mind if I deserve it or not, I think I kind of earned it and I think I match up really well with the guy. I think he’s tough. I think I have the proper game plan for him. I’ve got the proper training partners for him, and I think he knows I’d be a tough match for him. I’d love to fight that guy. If they could really make that happen in Strikeforce, I’m all over it. I’m ready for it, let’s do it on CBS…All of a sudden this year, I avenged both my losses. I cleaned my slate. I beat Rodrigo Damm, a tough guy, I’m the champ again, and now they’re talking about me fighting the No. 2 guy in the world. One win away from being top five in the world again…The night I got home after fighting Josh, I promise, I had a dream of Aoki that same night. (I’m) moving on now.”

—Gilbert Melendez, via MMA Weekly, proclaiming his desire to fight Shinya Aoki on CBS

A win over Shinya Aoki would certainly vault Melendez up in the rankings, but that’s easier said than done. Everyone has a chance against Aoki if they can keep it on the feet, however he’s pretty slick in finding ways to get it to the ground, and once he does, he’s a threat to finish the fight at any moment. I don’t know who I’d pick to win, but I’d love to see it on CBS.

Image via Esther Lin for Showtime