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Gilbert Melendez: “I’m coming for all the 155-pounders.”

At one point in time Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez felt like he was headed to the UFC, following the footsteps of his fellow Strikeforce fighters such as Dan Henderson, Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, and Alistair Overeem.

However, today he still calls Strikeforce his home, remaining as the promotion’s main star.

Now, as he prepares for a third bout with Josh Thomson, “El Nino” understands why UFC President Dana White left him to carry the flag of Strikeforce. Of course, that doesn’t mean Melendez doesn’t want to face the likes of UFC lightweight title-holder Benson Henderson, Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard and his other highly-touted peers who do their business inside the Octagon.

“I’m coming for all the 155-pounders and I really want to prove I’m No. 1,” said Melendez in a recent interview with MMAWeekly. “Part of being No. 1 is beating everyone, every match-up. I think I can beat every style out there.”

Melendez and Thomson have split their previous two meetings. Their bout will be the co-main event on May 19 on Showtime.

PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE