Legacies in MMA are a tricky thing. Some fighters seem to expect that they'll be forever under appreciated, like Yves Edwards and his statements about fan appreciation, saying "I consider myself fortunate that any of them liked watching me do it or were willing to pay to see me fight, to see me do what I love to do." For fighters who brush against the highest levels of athletic achievement in their sport, knowing exactly how fans will remember them can be a tricky thing. It appears to be something that GIlbert Melendez is grappling with coming into his second bid for a UFC title.
Melendez is a former WEC and two time Strikeforce lightweight champion (3 time if you count his interim belt). He fought Benson Henderson back in 2012 for the UFC title, losing a narrow split decision. This time around, he's looking for a victory that will push him into the conversation for "greatest of all time." He spoke to Sherdog about his legacy heading into the fight.
Yeah, this is my... I feel like I've accomplished everything there is to accomplish in the sport, except winning the most prestigious title out there, and that's the UFC belt. I can see it from here and, you know, I want it so bad. And if I can win that belt, I think that would put me up for one of the greatest of all time in this sport. If you really look back at what I've done in the history and, yeah... So, I'll be rolling the dice a little bit more and really taking some gambles, trying to go for it in this one.
That may be a stretch, but with a 25 fight career and only three losses under his belt, along with a string of title wins and defenses, Melendez's case isn't without argument.