UFC on FOX 7 PosterIt seems like only yesterday Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez was mixing it up under the organization’s banner as one of the few elite competitors outside of those on the UFC roster. Be that as it may, Melendez is now a UFC fighter and ready to make his debut against divisional king Benson Henderson in less than two weeks.

Melendez and Henderson, along with a few other key players attached to UFC on FOX 7, will participate in a conference call this afternoon and, as usual, Five Ounces of Pain will be on the line to relay highlights back to our readers as things unfold in real time. The festivities kick off at 2:00 PM EST.

Read below for a rundown of quotes and other interesting nuggets of information gleaned from the group:

Benson Henderson:

– Definitely not looking past Melendez to a potential super-fight with Jose Aldo
– “I don’t really need anything else to motivate me. I just want to go out there and win every single fight – it doesn’t matter who the guy is or what the extra stuff on top of it is.”
– Doesn’t care about Melendez’s Strikeforce title

Gilbert Melendez:

– Has enjoyed seeing the success of his fellow Strikeforce fighters so far
– “Champion vs. champion is a neat thing but in this case I feel Benson is the champ.”
– “For a long time I’ve been trying to prove I’m #1 and this is my opportunity to do it.”
– “Of course I’d love to get (the win) for myself and my teammates.”
– Jokes about the added pressure of being a Cesar Gracie fighter in a championship bout after seeing teammates Nate Diaz/Nick Diaz lose recent title-shots

Frank Mir:

– Enjoys training with Russians based on their ability to turn on their motors in training

Daniel Cormier:

– Doesn’t feel any pressure to perform other than being in a co-main on FOX
– Says Strikeforce guys are all UFC fighters now so there’s no weight to carry in terms of representing the brand
– “There’s nothing that Frank can ever say that will make he fight more dangerously.” / Says very few people could take the beatings Mir has and retain his cockiness / “If that’s the way his mind works that’s very disturbing.”
– Won’t worry about potentially moving to 205 until after he beats Mir

Dana White:

– The UFC is working to help support Olympic/amateur wrestling / Would like to see other companies do the same like Bellator
– The UFC is sending Dan Hardy to see a top heart specialist before making a decision on his future in the MMA
– Frustrated by fighters like Matt Mitrione doing unnecessary interviews but doesn’t go into detail on his suspension
– Still interested in doing a season of TUF Russia
– Loves having Strikeforce guys on his roster to give them the opportunities they deserved before signing