“Gilbert’s one of the top guys in the world, no doubt about it… It’s always (that) when we get these kids that come out of some other organization, they’re just so fired up and ready. They see this stuff and what’s going on here, and obviously (he’s a) longtime Jake Shields friend and training partner and sees what Jake’s going through right now… This is what guys dream about. If you’re a fighter, this right here – what’s happening today is what you dream about. He’s sitting back there happy for Jake and pumped for him but going, ‘Goddamn. When am I going to get my turn? I want something like this.’ I see that in that kid every time I talk to him… He’s a great guy and a talented fighter, and I’m excited for the day when we can make these fights happen.”

— Dana White talking to the media, via MMA Junkie, about Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez

There’s no doubt that Gilbert Melendez is one of the top lightweights in the world. It’s just a shame they can’t move him over to the UFC for whatever reason, because let’s face it, there aren’t any top challengers for his title left in Strikeforce. Sure, KJ Noons is there and would make a fun title fight, but Melendez deserves to be fighting the Frankie Edgar’s and Gray Maynard’s of the world. If nothing else, at least Dana is hinting at Melendez taking on those guys sometime down the road.

Image via Esther Lin for Strikeforce/Showtime