"It's been a roller-coaster trying to stay focused with all of this," Melendez told MMAjunkie.com following his win over Jorge Masvidal Saturday night. "I've got people telling me I'm going to the UFC. I've got people telling me I'm not. I also bring this pressure on myself saying I'm No. 1, you know what I mean? You've got to back it up when you talk like that.
"I've just got to have faith. What can I do? I've got no time to be crying or be negative about a------- I've just got to stay focused and see what they bring to the table. We'll go from there."
Melendez didn't manage to wow his detractors, who say if the Strikeforce lightweight champ is truly UFC material, he should have dispatched of Masvidal.
"If that's what they think, then they don't understand MMA," Melendez said. "MMA is a really complex sport. Guy A could beat Guy B. Guy B could beat Guy C. Guy C could beat Guy A sometimes, you know what I mean? You've go to be able to beat every kind of style out there.
"MMA is styles, and Jorge happens to be one of the toughest matchups stylistically for me – another great sprawl-and-brawler, another great striker. That's what makes for a good fight. The fact that I could beat a guy of that caliber at our own game is a big win for me. Somebody like Aoki, I could dominate. He might tap somebody out real quick that I couldn't do that to, but my jiu-jitsu is good enough to hang with guys like that. They're pretty ignorant if that's what they think because they don't understand MMA."
"Just look at my record. Look at your history. I've been around the sport a long time. I've got more fights than a lot of those guys. I don't know. I'm sick of saying it. I just hope I can keep proving it in the cage.
"I put it out there. I think I'm one of the top guys out there, and I would like to prove I'm No. 1. I'll just continue walking the walk instead of talking the talk. I'm sick of talking about it."
"It would have been nice to put [Masvidal] on his back and stuff. You could tell he was working his takedown pretty well. But the striking was going well, so I wasn't too eager on [taking the fight to the floor]. Things were going my way, so I kept it going that way. I was looking for the shot, but the guy's freaking bad. He's amazing. He's an amazing fighter. Hopefully he gets a lot of credit from this fight because he's a freaking stud. He's a guy that I'd like to see matched up with some of those UFC guys, too. I think he'd clown lots of that guys. That's just how I feel. I respect him."
"I'm happy to be a part of Strikeforce and Showtime. I've got faith that they're going to do what's good for me. Dana told me that. 'It's going to be great for your career.'
"When I signed with Strikeforce, I was like, 'I don't know, Scott.' Then I was fighting on Showtime. I'm like, 'Alright, I don't know, Scott,' and then he brings me Aoki, the No. 2 fighter in the world. Then I get a great challenge like Jorge. A lot of people underrate him. For me, this was a big win for me to get. Jorge is a guy I've seen in the circuit for a long time. I guess what I'm trying to get at is they manage to deliver for me, and I've got to continue to have faith that they will continue to deliver for me.
"We'll all sit down together, and we'll start talking. I think I'm in a position to ask some questions, and we'll ask some questions and see what's next."