In a little over a week Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez will look to defend his title for the fifth consecutive time when he faces grizzled grappler Pat Healy in the main event at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy. In addition to putting his gold up for grabs, Melendez’s reputation is also on the line as one of the top 155ers in MMA who hasn’t had a chance to prove himself under the UFC‘s banner thus far in his career.
Before the two talented competitors tussle in the cage on September 29 they will cross paths on a conference call promoting the event later this afternoon and Five Ounces of Pain will be on the line to relay real time highlights back to our readers. Things kick off at 3:00 PM EST.
In addition to Melendez/Healy, co-headlining light heavyweights Gian Villante and “Guto” Inocente will join in the festivities along with CEO Scott Coker.
Read below for interesting nuggets of information plucked from the call as well as the occasional quote:
-I don’t pay attention to the odds or anything, I take it as a compliment-but Pat is a tough guy.
-Im always a student in the sport. You need to use your brain and figure out how to evolve and improve on our weaknesses. I just want to learn and continue to grow and have a good time with it. Fighting someone like Pat, he is old school and comes forward and likes to fight.
-I feel good about the rankings, I think im up there. It used to be a bigger concern of mine. I think I can go up to 170 and beat guys there, and drop down to 145 if I have too.
-Thompson wasn’t my best fight, but we know each other well. The boos kind of hurt, but it is what it is. If he earns a fourth fight, Im down with it. Im definitely not scared of it.
-I think Healy is a good wrestler, he is a good fighter. He is an underrated fighter, and he an really put it together. You don’t want a big guy on you, and thats where he is the strongest.
-The paycheck, my family and staying relevant. That keeps me motivated. Fight helps me being secure in my life.
-If anyone can replicate Healy is Jake Shields. No one has a body lock, or is grinder like Shields.
-Im not a stick an mover, I wont be running. Im here to fight. We’ll be locking horns.
-Josh Neer and Pablo Garza both came in, and I did some work with Diaz. I have an Elite group of people im working with.
-people ask me if I can make 145 all the time, and Yeah I can make it. I’m up for everything.
-Josh Thompson wants me to lose pretty bad it sounds like. They will have to fight each other eventually. If Josh wants to help Pat thats fine.
-Its hard to train to prevent injuries. Its a brutal sport. People get hurt, and that stuff happens. The more you think about injuries the more they happen.
-Lindland put me in touch with a sports psychologist, but Dr. Steve is a good friend now. When you hear Jordan and Woods dealing with these types of guys, its something to look at. A lot of visualization and meditation, we train for one night so all of this helps.
-I took no time from my last fight, and I was working with BJ Penn-so Ill be ready for fight. I have done 5 rounders before, so I know what to expect.
-I m usually not a quick starter. Its something I have been working on in this camp. I work on it, especially in line for this fight. If I can get my weight on him early, it will be to my benefit.
-I didnt really bring in Thompson, he was out training with BJ Penn. Thats my second home.
-You just need to focus on training hard, you have to put injuries out of your mind.
-Being an underdog is a motivating factor. I’m over wanting the media respect, or the fans respect. It takes the pressure off.
-I seem to be performing better at 205, and I dont like to cut weight but I have been wrestling for a long time and I know how to do it.
-Coker thanks Melendez and Healy for taking the fight, and is excited to be in the Sacramento area for the first time.
-We have always supported the female divisions, and we were the first sanctioned womens fight in California. These girls deserve the fight, but we should stick to this card.
-Healy is a big lightweight, and he is on a 5 fight win streak. He earned this title shot.
-I think we are delivering on the ratings with showtime, and thats what they are looking.