Now that Gilbert Melendez will defend his Strikeforce lightweight title against Jorge Masvidal on Dec. 17 in San Diego, California, he can fully focus on other things, like claiming his "pound-for-pound" status and his future goals in mixed martial arts.
Speaking to MMA Weekly, Gilbert says he should be talked about in the top pound-for-pound rankings, which would put him in a class with Frankie Edgar, Jon Jones, Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva.
Among other things, "El Nino" also discussed his career up to this point and a possible move to welterweight in the future.
"If things go well here then I might go to 170 you know. Why not? I can fight at 170 pounds and I know I can beat some guys out there, but there are definitely plenty of challenges at 155 right now, but you know why not have goals in the long term to be one of the best in the world and go to three weight classes. Why not, I'm not trying to be arrogant; it's just that it's a dream. I'm allowed to dream a little bit and I'm allowed to work for it. So, that's what I mean by that."
Hear more from Melendez after the jump.
Here is run down of the interview for those of you who are computer monitored by "the man" at your place of employment.
When asked about what he feels his status in the rankings is, Gilbert had this to say:
"Hey man it’s debatable. It’s definitely debatable, but I was the number one 145 pounder in the world a long time ago before a lot of people even knew about it and then I went up to 155 and I’ve become top three in the world there, debatable number one. You know I’m up there pound for pound as well. Frankie is very well deserving of being a pound for pound guy, but until he goes to 145 pounds and takes care of business there, then I don’t know how he is going to be a pound for pound. I have done in two weight classes. I have been in this sport for a long time and I truly feel I am number one but I am sick of saying it I just want to prove it."
Before Gilbert has a chance to fight for one more title, he has to get past a very tough opponent in "Gamebred," Jorge Masvidal. A loss for "El Nino" could send him tumbling all the way down to the bottom of the barrel in a very stacked UFC lightweight division.
What do you say Maniacs,, will Gilbert Melendez prevail in his tough match-up against "Gamebred" and does he deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world?