Photo by Esther Lin
Looks like another Strikeforce star is jumping ship and heading over to the UFC real soon. Dana White says that Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, will be moving to the UFC as soon as possible. MMAWeekly has it:
"We do want to bring Gilbert Melendez over and we’re looking at it right now... We’re going to bring Melendez over ASAP. We’re looking to bring him over now."
"(Getting an immediate title shot is) a possibility. The thing is, that division is so stacked. And usually timing has a lot to do with (who gets the next shot)."
While the move hasn't been finalized, Melendez sounded happy about the opportunity:
"It’s exciting that the boss definitely wants me over to the UFC, because it’s definitely a good move for me... Basically, it would (only take) a phone call from Dana saying drop everything you’re coming to the UFC. I’d be there in a heartbeat. Money doesn’t really mean nothing at this point, my money’s good, I’m happy with my money, if he told me to come fight for the same price, I would do it."
"...I’m coming for all the 55lbers and I really want to prove I’m No. 1. It would be nice to get a title shot, but if I need to come through it and work my way up, I’m more than willing. Part of being No. 1 is beating everyone, every match-up, I think I can beat every style out there. It doesn’t really matter to me. Whatever Dana wants. Whatever he wants, I’ll do."
Melendez is currently ranked as the #3 lightweight on the USA Today / SBNation Consensus Rankings, only behind Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, who will both be fighting for the UFC title next week.
If, or better yet, when, he jumps to the UFC, he will be joining other Strikeforce champions Alistair Overeem and Nick Diaz who recently made the move; Definitely signaling that Zuffa doesn't have much plans on keeping things "Business as Usual".