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Gilbert Melendez says he's going to 'bust Eddie Alvarez's ass up' at UFC 188

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UFC lightweight contender Gilbert Melendez is primed and ready to take on Eddie Alvarez at UFC 188.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Gilbert Melendez vs. Eddie Alvarez is a 155 lbs. matchup that has enticed MMA fans since the two lightweights conquered their promotional divisions in Strikeforce and Bellator. Gilbert Melendez reigned supreme under the Strikeforce banner while Eddie Alvarez ruled the roost at Bellator. Despite losing to Michael Chandler in a pulsating championship clash at Bellator 58, the Pennsylvania native reclaimed lightweight gold in the highly anticipated rematch at Bellator 106.

Gilbert Melendez spoke to Layzie the Savage ahead of his encounter with Eddie Alvarez at UFC 188 - here's what the former Strikeforce champ had to say:

"I'm gonna bust Eddie Alvarez's ass up and celebrate in Mexico. I think it's a good fight. It's one I've been waiting for - I like the story behind it and I'm looking forward to fighting Eddie. It's always been out of respect but at times it's got personal, so I'm pumped. I'm looking forward to punching someone and hurting someone and I feel like he feels the same, so it's gonna be a good one. The timing make sense and it's a recipe for a great fight," Melendez said.

Since joining the UFC, Melendez and Alvarez haven't quite found their footing. Melendez has fought for the UFC lightweight title twice since 2013 but was bested by Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis in both championship encounters. Alvarez has only fought once under the UFC banner and was shutout by Donald Cerrone at UFC 178. Both combatants will be looking to spring back into the winners column when they meet at UFC 188.