A number of weeks ago widely respected trainer Cesar Gracie came forward to make it clear teammates Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez would never face off against each other regardless of the stakes involved. Both men, lightweights, have worked alongside one another for the bulk of their professional careers and are part of one of the tightest knit group of competitors in the sport at Gracie’s gym in California.
It appears Gracie was not kidding either, as it appears Melendez will explore his options at 145 pounds if Diaz lays claim to the UFC championship this weekend when he battles Benson Henderson at UFC on FOX 5.
Diaz revealed the information during open workouts for the event, adding he felt Melendez would go on to be lightweight champ if he’s unable to seal the deal himself on Saturday night. MMAJunkie has also reported Melendez is in talks with the UFC to shift over to the organization from Strikeforce similarly to Ronda Rousey.
It is believed Diaz would move back up to welterweight if Melendez comes in and competes as a 155-pounder.
Melendez is currently on the sidelines with an injured shoulder that forced him out of a January defense of his Strikeforce title. He holds an overall record of 21-2 including wins over Tatsuya Kawajiri, Josh Thomson, Clay Guida, and Shinya Aoki.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/UFC