Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez trains under Cesar Gracie with top UFC contender Jake Shields and Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz. Diaz has been talking about doing some pro boxing (which is allowed under his SF contract) and Melendez thinks he'll "do just fine":
"I think Nick (Diaz) is the type of guy who just likes to challenge himself personally. He does the ironman, that's why he did MMA and that's why he wants to do boxing. He wants something to motivate him. I don't think he cares what anyone thinks, win or lose. He just wants to challenge himself and that's what he's going to do. I think he's also put himself in a good situation where he has that bargaining chip now, maybe they're going to be forced to give him that top opponent to stay in MMA."
"I respect that he's going to do boxing and go outside his comfort zone and test himself. I think it's amazing and I think Fernando Vargas might be making a mistake. (With boxing) Just the dollar figure and all that as well, I don't know what the contract says; it's just going to be a lot more persuading and also might evolve the MMA game as well."
"I know I can't hang with (top level) pro boxers, I'm realistic, I know I'd get smashed. Nick Diaz goes (to) spar with Andre Ward and to me is the best 167 pounder in the world out there and he survives. He has bad days; he might even have good days and that's the toughest guy in the world. If he can hang with him and have good days against him, I think Nick Diaz will do just fine with someone like Fernando Vargas and a lot of guys out there. (Diaz) spars a lot of tough guys. He's already doing it, he's already there. He's also not naive about stuff, so I think it'll be great for him."
Cesar Gracie: Nick Diaz needs a break from MMA, Jake Shields will submit GSP