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Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal Real Time Conference Call Highlights

While a UFC title may be on the line this weekend at UFC 140, two other Zuffa championships will be up for grabs on December 17 when “Top 3” lightweight Gilbert Melendez gives a golden opportunity to talented American Top Teamer Jorge Masvidal at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal.

Also set for the Showtime broadcast, explosive female champ Cris “Cyborg” Santos scraps against 12-1 grappler Hiroko Yamanaka with the winner being crowned queen of the 145-pound division.

Other match-ups include K.J. Noons vs. Billy Evangelista and Ovince St. Preux vs. Gegard Mousasi.

Before mixing it up in the ring, the quartet of competitors at the top of the lineup will face off in a conference call with media scheduled for this afternoon at 1:00 PM EST. As always, Five Ounces of Pain will be tuned in and relaying live results back to readers including scintillating soundbytes and other relevant nuggets of information.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker will also participate in the festivities.

Read below for a breakdown of events:

Gilbert Melendez

– Excited about the fight because he sees Masvidal as a tough fighter despite his lack of popularity, anticipated fighting him even a few years ago / “It’s a good challenge. It should be a good show.”
– Thought Masvidal looked good against Noons / “He’s a complete MMA fighter.”
– Had already signed to fight Masvidal before rumors of UFC run
– Says UFC deal is still in the works / “There’s some dialogue going on. The goal is to be UFC champ at the end of the day. The goal is to be #1 at the end of the day.”
– Says it is inevitable he’ll join the UFC
– “This fight is for me – that I can defend my throne.”
– Is not looking beyond Masvidal but feels “the sooner the better” as far as a UFC title-shot
– Melendez jokes that he will pull guard before saying he’ll be prepared to stand / “I think he could take out a lot of guys in the UFC right now.”
– Doesn’t see there being any challenges left for him at 155 on the Strikeforce roster but has faith in Scott Coker to bring in fresh challenges as he has in the past
– Enjoys elbows and recalls the days of foot-stomps and kicks/knees to downed opponents
– Jokes that contracts are meant for lawyers to understand, not fighters

Jorge Masvidal

– Means a lot to him to fight a guy of Melendez’s caliber, even more than fighting for the belt because of what Gilbert represents
– “Wherever this fight goes, I’m ready. That’s where my advantage is. On the feet, on the ground. I just want to fight, man.”
– Doesn’t care about Melendez potentially going to the UFC, that this is just a fight to him
– He respects Melendez’s skills but this is “just another fight” in that he doesn’t get caught up with the hype surrounding the bout or main event
– Wants to go where the most money is which is naturally the UFC

“Cyborg” Santos

– Says 135 pounds will be difficult but will try to make the move because there is more work for her there
– Wants to fight at 135 and 145 if possible
– Has improved her BJJ in the year-plus she’s been out

Hiroko Yamanaka

– Only focused on the fight, not the hype surrounding “Cyborg”
– Wants fans to know she’s super-determined to win

Scott Coker

– Optimistic on the future of Strikeforce on Showtime
– Company is committed to both female weight-classes
– January 7 card is NOT official
– Sees Heavyweight Grand Prix Final happening in March/April
– Credits Ronda Rousey with judo experience even if she has only fought in MMA a few times, would have no problem putting her in the ring with Miesha Tate