Tuesday's Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal media conference call is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. PT/1:00 p.m. ET and features Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez and number-one contender Jorge Masvidal. Women's featherweight champion Cris "Cyborg" Santos and number-one contender Hiroko Yamanaka are also expected to attend, as is Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker. Along with live updates and notable quotes, MMA Nation will provide you with full audio of the call inside this StoryStream.
Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal is slated for Saturday, December 17th at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. For more analysis, follow MMA Nation (@MMANation) and Shaun Al-Shatti (@shaun_alshatti) on Twitter.
Here are partial notes from each participant. Full audio is coming.
- "There's nothing to announce (about the Showtime-Strikeforce deal), but I'm optimistic at this point... We'll just have to wait and see. I think things are going well."
- "We've put on some of the best fights in the history of MMA... and that's going to continue. We're going to keep building these fighters and putting on amazing fights."
- "Right now we're committing to running those two (women's) weight classes... We're going to keep doing it and there will be more fights for Cris at either 135-pounds or 145-pounds."
- "Gilbert is a great champion. I personally believe he is the number-one fighter in the world."
- "What happens after this fight will depend on what happens in the fight. So let's just focus on the event."
- Nothing to announce for the January 7th fight card. Still details to work out. "If it does happen, we're going to go for it and promote the heck out of it... We still have time if we can get this thing activated."
- Heavyweight grand prix finals being targeted for somewhere in the first quarter of 2012; possibly March. Depends of Daniel Cormier's hand recovery.
- You can't look at how professional fights someone has, you have to look at the total package. Ronda Rousey's total package is far greater than that of most rookie. "I would have no problem putting that fight together (against Miesha Tate) because of all the past experience she has... When you talk about Ronda, you talk about someone that is deserving and has the skill to be there."
- "I was excited about this fight. I think Jorge is a tough fighter.... He isn't the most popular guy, but he's a good challenge."
- "He looked really good against K.J (Noons)... He looked really good in training, looks like he's finally adapted to the weight class."
- "I think some of the top fighters need to go to the UFC, and I'm one of those guys... The goal is to be the UFC champion at the end of the day."
- Believes it is "inevitable" that he moves into the UFC. HIs contract with Masvidal was already signed when Dana White was talking about signing him to the UFC.
- "Some people are ignorant... If you don't fight in the UFC, they think you're no good... This fight is just for me, if I can defend my throne. If I can get past this it will mean a lot to me."
- Can't confirm if he will move into the UFC after this fight, but "the sooner, the better."
- Realistically, he'd like to fight whoever the champion is when he goes to the UFC. "I don't have a particular person I want to fight... I'd want to fight myself if I was number-one."
- "I think (Jorge) could take out a lot of guys in the UFC right now."
- "There's some talent in Strikeforce, but I've done my time here... it doesn't matter Strikeforce or UFC, I just want to fight top fighters."
- His whole team trains with elbows. "In my mind, I'm always like 'man, I can do elbow's here'... It's just natural for me... When I throw elbows, I throw them with bad intentions."
- Any of Jorge's losses, he probably wasn't motivated. This time, he's definitely going to be motivated.
- "These contracts, they're meant for us fighters to not understand them... I have a lawyer so hopefully he can get it going."
- "Wherever this fight goes, that's where my advantage is."
- Fighting top ranked guys is all he cares about. Glad for the step up in competition.
- Only difference with this fight is the five rounds. He is training hard.
- "At the end of the day, no matter what's at stake, it's still a fight."
- "Obviously I'd like to go to the UFC. Really, wherever I can make the most money, and I think that's the UFC."
- It's going to be difficult but she's going to try to make the move to bantamweight because there's more work there.
- Would like to fight in both divisions if possible, but knows there is more competition at 135-pounds.
- She has gotten better at jui-jitsu and boxing since last fighting. Is more well-rounded since her last time out.
- Believes that you can acquire prestige in this sport by working hard and fighting hard. Isn't looking for fame but just wants to challenge herself.
- The only thing in her mind is to win this fight. She doesn't feel like she is being overlooked.
- Feels like her experience will help her out.
- "I am so determined to win this fight, I am going to walk out of the cage with my championship belt."