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Gilbert Melendez: “I Can’t Live with Myself Not Knowing if I Can’t Beat Eddie Alvarez”

Written by Tom Ngo
November 1st, 2010
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Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez

It was the text heard ’round the world, unfortunately it was never read by its intended recipient. However, the hoopla surrounding Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney pushing Strikeforce boss Scott Coker to arrange a co-promoted bout between their respective lightweight champs Eddie Alvarez and Gilbert Melendez has picked up mad momentum.

No word from Alvarez regarding his interest in a blockbuster scrap with Melendez, but the Strikeforce king dropped his two-cents on the matter, and he’s all in.

“Of course I want to fight Frankie Edgar and Eddie Alvarez, those are the guys I do want to fight, and I do mention them so much because I really want to figure out who’s No. 1 in the world. That would help me figure it out right there,” Melendez told MMAWeekly. “I’m trying to step up and make things happen for myself so I’m calling out names.

“This is a guy who I think is within my reach to fight, so that’s why I’m making noise about it. It’s not out of disrespect or nothing, but I do want to fight that guy.”

Melendez was perfect through his first 13 professional contests, however hit a rough patch at the end of 2007 that extended through the middle of the following year. He dropped two out of three, with his humbling title loss to Josh Thomson capping off his skid. Unfortunately for the rest of the lightweight world, “El Niño” came storming back and has ratted off four consecutive wins en route to reclaiming his belt.

As it stands, Melendez appears destined for a New Year’s Eve date with Dream champ Shinya Aoki. While that might be the immediate game plan, Melendez insists on standing opposite Alvarez at some point in the very near future.

“I think we’re getting warmer, I think our voices are getting heard. It makes sense to figure it out, and if they bring that to the table, I’m more than happy (to accept). I’ve been trying to bring that to the table,” Melendez added. “I know Bjorn says it, I know Scott Coker says it, but they are the two businessmen and they have to figure that out, and hopefully they can come to an agreement.

“Win or lose, I just want to figure out if I can beat this guy or not. I can’t live with myself not knowing.”

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