This great article featuring Gilbert Melendez and Jake Shields is featured on the front page of the SF Weekly!
Why mixed martial arts -- a bloody blend of disciplines often called ultimate fighting -- may replace boxing as America's mayhem of choice
By Luke O'Brien
In the dim light of the hallway, Gilbert Melendez's tiny 4-ounce gloves flick through the darkness and the tension. Jab, jab, hook. Double jab. Shoot in for the takedown. A sheen of sweat slicks the face of the 23-year-old former San Francisco State wrestler as he flurries silently, alone with his thoughts. Behind him, written in kanji on the wall, are the names of fighters who have lived this moment before. In front, the doors lead to Tokyo's famed Korakuen Hall, where 1,000 Japanese fans wait for Melendez, tonight's main event at 143 pounds and a rising star in the world of mixed martial arts, to boom out of the darkness and into the ring to put his 8-0 record on the line.
The lean, curly-haired Daly City resident has tried to block out the cheers as Americans in the two preceding bouts went down to Japanese fighters. Ray Cooper of Hawaii lost by TKO. Stonnie Dennis, a little Kentuckian in Rocky shorts, took a kick to the neck in the first round and keeled over like a cut tree. In fact, everyone from Melendez's gaijin-only dressing room has lost tonight, including the pretty 16-year-old Dutch girl who returned from her fight sobbing softly, holding an elbow that had been wrenched in an armbar.
for the full article!