Gilbert Melendez Considering Drop to Featherweight
If Nate Diaz defeats Benson Henderson for the UFC lightweight title, Gilbert Melendez will consider dropping to the featherweight division.
Diaz confirmed the news of his teammate's decision to MMAWeekly at the open workouts for UFC on Fox 5 on Wednesday:
"Gil is talking about [going to 145] and fighting for a title there. If [things] don't go too well for this fight, your next champion is going to be Gilbert Melendez for sure. There's no doubt in my mind."
With Strikeforce set to close its doors in January 2013, lightweight champ Melendez is one of the promotion's marquee names expected to cross over to the UFC.
It was believed the UFC would opt to do a champion vs. champion bout, but this is highly unlikely if Diaz is wearing the 155-pound strap.
As teammates and close friends, Diaz and Melendez refuse to fight one another, and they are both willing to restructure their entire careers to ensure their paths never cross.
On a positive note, Melendez's name would bolster a growing featherweight division. He would join the likes of UFC standouts Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar, Clay Guida, Chad Mendes and Chan Sung Jung.
Still, featherweight fans shouldn't get too excited.
Diaz still has to defeat Henderson, which could prove to be a monumental task in itself. A loss on Saturday would instantly put all of the Melendez to featherweight talk to bed, and the UFC will have its champion vs. champion super fight.
If Melendez defeated Henderson for the UFC title, what would happen to Diaz? Would he go back to welterweight or stay at lightweight?
Diaz is undecided about his future. The only thing that matters right now is defeating Henderson and becoming the UFC champion.
If things don't go as planned, Diaz isn't ruling out a return to welterweight or possibly even alternating between weight classes:
"I'd stay at lightweight or [welterweight]. I don't know, whatever."
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