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My interview with Gilbert Melendez is now available at Melendez will be fighting for the first time in ’07 this Saturday at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif. He’ll defend the Strikeforce lightweight title against Tetsuji Kato.

I asked Gilbert several questions about his contract status and about the UFC. Right now, he’s bound to Strikeforce in the U.S. but it looks like he can fight outside the promotion in other countries. I asked him about K-1 HERO’s and the first thing he brought up was wanting a chance to fight JZ “Gesias Calvancanti” Calvan:

Q: You mentioned possibly fighting outside of the U.S. and in Japan, would K-1 HERO’s be a possibility?

GM: Definitely, man. After seeing JZ (Gesias Calvancanti) win that (153-pound) tournament I kind of want a piece of him, to tell you the truth. But that’s only because I respect him. I wouldn’t mind going out there, and I’m sure it would be a lot easier if I went out there to fight him in Japan, so it would definitely be something I’d like to do. But of course, I want to be respectful to Strikeforce and work around their schedule and make sure we’re on the same page if that does happen.

Click here to read the entire interview.

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