Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez makes his UFC debut this weekend on one of the biggest stages possible - the main event of UFC on Fox 7, with the UFC lightweight title on the line. He joined MMA Junkie Radio recently to talk about his bout with champion Ben Henderson and laid it all out there. He started off by talking about how the UFC champ is bigger than him, and that he had to put on some muscle to compensate for that:
"It's tailor-made for Benson. He's definitely a strong guy, and you can see it out there. I've seen it firsthand. He has those big legs. He's shredded. He's a huge 155-pounder. I knew it was necessary. I wouldn't say I put on that much muscle, but a good extra three pounds. I feel more shredded. I feel more durable, and I want to be able to take his kicks and take the punishment. It also helped me stay more durable during my training camp."
He then turned into a true Cesar Gracie guy when describing how he felt about the bout. He made no bones about the fact that he is going to try to kill Henderson. In fact, he said it twice:
"No matter what, there's heat. I respect Benson. He's the number one guy right now. He's the UFC champ. But come fight day, I'm going to try to kill him. I have bad intentions, and it is personal. I don't need to be mad at someone. I'm a professional, and I know how to turn on the switch and turn it on and off when I need to. Some people turn it on a month out. I turn it on right when it's time.
"It's going to be heated. It's going to be personal. It's just how I fight. I'm going to try to kill the guy. I don't need anyone talking crap on me. But let it be known, on fight day, Benson is not my friend. In fact, he's the enemy that day and I have to destroy him. That's the mentality I have to have."
Henderson, - who had his gym The Lab profiled in a great piece by MMA Fighting's Shaun Al-Shatti today - hasn't been bringing any sort of trash talk to motivate Melendez any further. But it looks like he won't need the extra motivation - Melendez is ready to go.