Strikeforce held a media conference call today to promote Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal, which is scheduled to take place at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California for Dec. 10, 2011.
The call featured Gilbert Melendez, Jorge Masvidal, Chris Santos, Hiroko Yamanaka and Strikeforce President Scott Coker.
Highlights below are thanks to MMAmania.com…
- Jorge isn’t the most popular, but he’s someone that’s been in the circuit for a long time. He’s tough and I’m looking forward to it. He looked really good against K.J. and he looked like he’s finally adapting to the weight class. He’s a complete MMA fighter.
- The goal is to be the UFC champ and the only way to do that is by getting the UFC title.
- You get motivated when you’re the underdog or when there’s a lot of hype. A lot of people have been talking nonsense about Jorge, that he’s no good. What’s been the challenge for me has been motivating myself and this means a lot to myself. Not to fans, not to anybody, just to prove that, to defend my throne and I’m the big favorite here and if I can get past this and look real good, it’ll mean more to me than to anyone else.
- If I have to beat five more people before that, so be it but the sooner the better. I’ve deserved a chance at the UFC title and if I can get it as soon as possible, that’s great. I feel like I’m constantly proving myself in this MMA industry. It’s inevitable.
- Jorge poses a lot of challenges. He’s a great stand-up fighter. I don’t want to talk gameplan but I’m gonna go out there and show it. My camp is readying me for every scenario. We both like to fight and that’s what going to make a good fight.
- I think if I get past Jorge, if I stay in Strikeforce, no, I don’t see challenges there. I think I’ve done my thing there. i think Jorge is the number one contender and he’s a super tough dude. That’s who I’m focused on right now and I haven’t even checked anyone out. It would be cool if they brought some UFC fighters to Strikeforce. It doesn’t matter if it’s a UFC or Strikeforce fighter, I just want a top fighter. Coker brought me Aoki, he brought me Kawajiri. I can’t think of anyone on the roster, but just when I think I don’t have a challenger in front of me, Scott always pulls someone out and gives me a challenge. There’s a lot of top fighters out there.
- All my teammates train with elbows. Jake was a pioneer in ground and pound with elbows so elbows have always been something in the back of my mind. Even in training, in my mind I was thinking, “I can elbow this guy right now.” It wasn’t just because Strikeforce didn’t allow elbows that I ruled it out. I’m happy they’re there because elbows are real effective. Sometimes they cut people and end fights early but I showed I can actually end fights with elbows. I used to fight in Hawaii, in Pride with foot stomps and knees to the head. I like to do all that stuff so I’m happy with the elbows and I love the unified rules. It’s fun to have those.
- I think in any of his losses, Jorge wasn’t as motivated sometime but this is a fight where he’ll be looking to make a name for himself. I’m anticipating he did everything he can do to get ready. I’m sure he saw what I did in my last fight and he took it into consideration.
- These contracts, they’re meant for us fighters not to understand them. I have a lawyer and hopefully these guys can get a deal and get it going. That’s all I can really say about that. I do have a multifight with Strikeforce and I’m happy with Strikeforce. I don’t know what can be done but I’m sure these guys have the power to do whatever they want.
- I’m not trying to sound perfect but I don’t have time to be negative. I’m grateful to be the main event on Showtime. I’ve got nothing to complain about to be honest. I’m blessed and there’s nothing to bitch about.
- It means a lot fighting for the championship and fighting a top guy. Fighting a top ranked guy is more important than anything to me.
- Wherever the fight goes, I’ll be ready. On the feet or on the ground, I’ll be ready to fight.
- I know he’s a solid fighter. That’s all that matters to me. Train hard, train longer. It’s five rounds, that’s the only difference. Just go in there and do my job.
- When I say it’s just another fight, I’m not dissing my opponent. It’s just that at the end of the day, it’s just another fight. Whatever happens afterwards happens. Wherever I make the most money is the best so obviously the UFC seems like the best option.
- It’s gonna be difficult, but I’m gonna try to make the move because there’s more work for me there (at 135 pounds). I want to fight in both categories if possible but I know there’s more opportunities for me at 135.
- I feel I’ve gotten better at jiu-jitsu. I’ve stayed competitive at that aspect. I feel I’m better well-rounded than I was before.
- It works both ways. You can acquire prestige in the sport by working hard and fighting hard.
- I don’t feel like I’m overlooked or anything. The only thing I have in my mind is to win this fight. That’s all.
- I do feel like my experience will benefit with me. I have a lot of good experience and it will help me in this fight.
- I’m just planning on winning this fight. I’m going to walk out of the cage with my championship belt.
- I think that things are going well and we’ll have something to announce shortly but there’s nothing official to announce right now (about the Showtime deal).
- In the history of Strikeforce, I think we’ve put on some of the best fights in the history of MMA. There’s still a lot of great fighters on the roster and we’re gonna keep building the fighters and that’s not gonna change. Everybody can tune into Showtime and watch in 2012 and we’ll put on amazing fights.
- We’re committed to those two weight classes. Female fighting on Showtime has done very well ratings wise, even outdrawing some of the male fights. We’re going to continue scouring the planet looking for the top girls. There will be more fights for Chris in the future at 135 and 145.
- Obviously, we can’t get into legal verbage about what’s in the contract and what’s not.
- We don’t have anything to announce on the January 7th fight card, there’s still some issues pending.
- Right now we have more people working on Strikeforce than we ever head. They have a very good machine and if it does happen, we’re gonna go for it and promote the heck out of it. The timeframe, the most important thing for the event is the last six weeks if you’re promoting.
- I still predict that the final will happen in the late part of the first quarter. We’d like to get the fight done by the first quarter 2012. We’re waiting on Daniel Cormier’s recovery for his right hand to see how his hand’s feeling. We’re hoping for March.