I deserve UFC title shot ahead of Henderson - Melendez

ESPN staff
December 19, 2011
Gilbert Melendez believes he is the best lightweight fighter in MMA © Getty Images

Gilbert Melendez believes he deserves a chance in the UFC after the Strikeforce lightweight champion claimed his sixth straight win on Saturday.

After his unanimous decision victory over Jorge Masvidal in San Diego, Melendez claimed he was more deserving of a UFC title shot than Ben Henderson, who is expected to be lining up for a shot against UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 144 in February.

There are no shortage of fighters lining up to fight Melendez under the Strikeforce banner, and while El Nino insists he is not unhappy with his current position, he does feel he should be ahead of Henderson in the queue.

"I don't feel like I shouldn't be in this position, I'm not crying about my position but I think I've done more than Ben Henderson," told Fighting Famous TV. "You know, these guys were on The Ultimate Fighter - I was already fighting in PRIDE and ranked top three in the world but some people just don't understand that.

"I'm not trying to be a cry baby again, but I just know my history and I've been there. I've already hit these bumps in the road and come back. Some of these guys haven't hit that bump in the road where they have to reinvent themselves and I've already hit that and they're still going to hit that."

While Melendez looks unlikely to move across to the UFC in the near future, the American singled out Anthony Pettis as the man he would like to showcase his claim to be the best 155-pound fighter in MMA.

"As for Pettis, I would welcome that challenge," Melendez said. "I would like to fight that dude, bring him over I think I can smash him."

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