Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez appears on “Fighting Words with Mike Straka” Friday, February 11, 2011 at 8:30p.m. EST on HDNet.
The number two ranked lightweight in the world, who recently signed a multi-year contract with Strikeforce, discusses his life inside and outside of the cage, and addresses criticism he received after refusing a rematch with Dream champion Shinya Aoki at Dynamite on New Year’s Eve in Japan.
“The reason why I did not take that fight is there’ s a lot of contract negotiations going on right now,” Melendez tells Straka. “It’s not like I don’t want to fight the guy, I just want to go to Japan not on a six week’s notice, I want to go on a two and a half month notice. Because when you go out there it is slightly biased. Would I love to fight him? I’m not scared of the guy. I demolished him once I’ll do it again,” he said.
Straka asks Melendez if fighting in a ring is significantly different than fighting in a cage?
“The ring and the cage play a big difference, you know,” says Melendez. “ A square ring is easier to cut someone off. You can trap someone in that corner and wedge him in there really nice and they’re not going nowhere. In these cages, I’ve stepped in a UFC cage. It’s huge. I can run laps in there. I can get a workout in just running laps all day in there that’s how big it is. I wish it was a square cage to be honest. A square cage would make everyone fight a lot more. I wish they’d make that a lot small you know?” he said.
Melendez also discusses what it’s like to have his father as a manager, his thoughts on another fight with Josh Thomson, and the future of the lightweight world rankings now that the WEC fighters were folded into the UFC.
Fighting Words with Mike Straka goes in depth with the biggest fighters and personalities of mixed martial arts from the UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator and more, and airs Friday nights at 8:30pm Eastern only on HDNet, your home for MMA.
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