UFC on FOX 7: ‘Scrapper’ Gilbert Melendez is going to make Ben Henderson fight in San Jose


Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez isn't planning on waiting around for the action to begin at UFC on FOX 7 when he challenges current 155-pound champion Ben Henderson. "El Nino," who describes himself as a "scrapper," is going to make sure he's the one that makes the main event into a fight.

Just a few days away from making his much-anticipated Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut, Gilbert Melendez has been giving his thoughts on the differences between he and his UFC on FOX 7 opponent, Ben Henderson.

According to "El Nino," Henderson -- the UFC lightweight champion -- is a very gifted and talented athlete who is now becoming a fighter, while the "scrapper" Melendez, is a fighter who has become an athlete.

Having said that, the former Strikeforce 155-pound champion believes the experience he obtained through the "wars" and "battles" he's been involved in over his 11-year mixed martial arts (MMA) career have tested his mettle and chin, giving him an advantage when he faces "Smooth" this weekend (April 20, 2013) in San Jose, California.

His words to Bleacher Report:

"I think I have the advantage in a couple of areas. I won't go too much into detail. I've been in a lot of wars and I've been in a lot of battles. My chin has been tested and I like to test people's chins as well. I'm a fighter. Maybe I wasn't the most gifted athletically, but I'm a fighter who's become an athlete. I think he's an athlete who's becoming a fighter. I think that's the difference. He is very athletic, very mentally strong and very talented, but, I think I'm the scrapper in this thing and I'm going to make this a fight."

And while Gilbert believes he has the advantage in many areas, he will be looking to capitalize on another should Benson "slip" during the fight while looking ahead to a "super fight" against current UFC Welterweight Champion, Georges St. Pierre.

While a bout between "Rush" and "Smooth" is highly unlikely, Benson did show interest in the contest a few weeks ago, but company president Dana White quickly shot it down.

Nevertheless, Melendez isn't banking on someone as "mentally strong" as Benson to overlook him, he's is solely focusing on doing what he has to do to finally be able to prove he is the best lightweight in the world.

Can "El Nino" do what his teammate Nate Diaz couldn't do at UFC on FOX 5 and stop the red-hot Henderson?

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