UFC lightweight Gilbert Melendez doesn’t dislike champion Benson Henderson. In fact, he admires the title-holder’s overall abilities and dedication to Mixed Martial Arts. However, that won’t keep “El Nino” from attempting to hurt Henderson early and often when the two collide this Saturday night at UFC on FOX 7.
According to Melendez, any opinions he has of his opponent disappear as soon as the cage door closes and his focus becomes on winning the fight by any means necessary.
“No matter what, there’s heat. I respect Benson. He’s the #1 guy right now. He’s the UFC champ. But come fight day, I’m going to try to kill him,” said Melendez in a recent interview with MMAJunkie. “I have bad intentions, and it is personal. I don’t need to be mad at someone. I’m a professional, and I know how to turn on the switch and turn it on and off when I need to. Some people turn it on a month out. I turn it on right when it’s time.”
“It’s going to be heated. It’s going to be personal. It’s just how I fight – I’m going to try to kill the guy,” he continued. “I don’t need anyone talking crap on me. But let it be known, on fight day, Benson is not my friend. In fact, he’s the enemy that day and I have to destroy him. That’s the mentality I have to have.”
Melendez-Henderson will serve as the main event at this weekend’s show. The 21-2 Melendez will enter the affair on a seven-fight winning streak including triumphs against Josh Thomson, Jorge Masvidal, and Shinya Aoki. Comparably, Henderson is 18-2 with six straight instances of success under his belt and victories over the likes of Jim Miller, Clay Guida, Nate Diaz, and Frankie Edgar.
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY