Strikeforce CEO Says Gilbert Melendez Would Beat Frankie Edgar

December 22, 2011
Comments off
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez

Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez

Strikeforce isn’t going anywhere and with a new deal in place at Showtime, they are continuing to build and brand their top fighters.

At the front of the line is Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, who is widely considered one of the top 155-pound fighters in the sport.

Most recently, Melendez beat Jorge Masvidal in a five-round unanimous decision victory to move his winning streak to six with three successful title defenses.

Even before that win, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker had proclaimed that he believed Melendez was the No. 1 lightweight in the sport, and the victory over Masvidal only strengthened his convictions.

“I believe he is the No. 1 lightweight in the world,” said Coker in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio that will air next week.

To justify his belief in Melendez beyond just looking at his record, Coker thinks that Melendez would best the other top lightweights, particularly UFC champion Frankie Edgar.

“Believe me, those other guys, I take nothing away from them. Listen, styles make fights, and I’m really looking at Frankie Edgar and Gilbert, that match-up as to who would win that fight and how that fight would look,” said Coker.

“Ben Henderson, Cowboy Cerrone, all those guys are extremely talented, but like I said styles make fights. I think Gilbert and Frankie would be a great fight, but I think Gilbert would come out on top.”

Edgar currently sits atop the MMAWeekly World MMA Rankings at No. 1 with Melendez just behind him at No. 2.

With the new Strikeforce deal in place and Melendez solidified as a star in that promotion, it’s not likely that he’ll be facing Edgar at any point in the near future.

But the debate will do nothing but continue to promote Melendez as one of the best fighters in the world, and that will surely build his stock in Strikeforce and the sport as a whole.


Follow @DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon Martin.
For more
UFC News and UFC Rumors, follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

  • boakid81

    What a joke Scott Coker is… Melendez wont even beat.

    Frankie Edgar
    Gray Maynard
    Bend Henderson
    Clay Guida
    Donald Cerrone

    • Prodigy815

      Well he has beaten Guida but Guida is way overrated. Remember though Melendez has been outwrestled by a 5’6 Ishida.

      • Santz

        Thank you for someone finally stating that…too many out there who believe Guida’s a top contender. The guy is way overrated and will never be champ or even be in a title fight. He fights like a wild man…ridiculous standup. I wouldn’t wanna fight him only cause he looks so damn filthy all the time…I mean is he seriously trying to look like a pu$$y repellant? LOL!

        • Cptmats

          I dont much like Guida But he is a good wrestler and good fighter def. not over rated !

        • MillerTime

          Guida’s is **** all he can do is lay on people Anthony Petists should have beat him just from attacking from the bottom he dosnt desirve to be in the top 10 for laying on people.

    • Mario

      What a joke boakid81 is

      Who the hell is Bend Henderson?

      You mean – “Ben” Henderson?

      And yes, as stated by the guy above me, he already beat Guida. Do some research before you post buddy! You clearly ain’t even a real MMA follower / supporter.

    • RonnieV

      Guida & Maynard both won by unimpressive split decisons to Melendez training partner Nate Diaz. Cerrone’s most impressive win is Dennis Siver, and shouldn’t be ranked unless he beats Diaz next week. Edgar & Henderson are a good argument vs. Melendez. Gilbert deserves respect, he is being forced to stay in Strikeforce with the Showtime deal, and he has already wiped out all the Dream/Strikeforce lightweights over the past five years.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1731489388 simonsawyer

      Frankie Edgar would smash Melendez, Maynard would beat him up, and Henderson would strangle him. Melendez has had little competition. Better stay where he is. The BIG boys would eat his lunch. I think they said the same about Shields.

    • Cptmats

      Exactly right ! You could prob add Pettis to that list as well !

  • RonnieV

    It would be a great fight! Melendez has been at the top for a long time, so he deserves to be mentioned as the best. Coker needs to pump up his product, and right now Melendez is Strikeforce.

  • http://www.facebook.com/denigro Anthony

    He is saying his guy is better than Edgar because he knows there won’t be the possibility of a fight for years. It’s like calling someone a ***** on the internet, its easy because nothing will happen because of it and it makes him feel better about his inferior product.

  • Matt Magick

    I might have believed this before the Masvidal fight, but I just can’t see Milendez getting through Edgar after Saturday.

  • boakid81

    Sorry for the typo Mario

    Melendez shouldnt even be ranked in the top 5.
    He needs to prove himself in the UFC then we can see where he stands.

    Im sure i have been i fan much longer than you, and a bigger fan.

  • boakid81

    We have seen it so many times, once they get into the UFC with top tier talent most others cant even handle mid level fighters in the UFC.

    Melendez probable wont even beat
    Jim Miller
    Anthony Pettis

    Melendez is all hype at this point, please go to the UFC.

    • b-soc

      I absolutely agree. Its proven time and time again. There is MMA competition and then there is UFC competition, and they are like chalk and cheese. Melendez has to go to the UFC, but when he does, he won’t be able to do anything with Frankie. His notable wins have fizzled out.

      • RonnieV

        Chalk & Cheese? You are right Dan Henderson, Jake Shields, and Nick Diaz are terrible imports from Strikeforce. Melendez would compete with any lightweight, but the Showtime deal is keeping him in Strikeforce. The UFC will most likely be sending Lightweight contenders to Strikeforce to fight Melendez.

        • b-soc

          Yes, that’s right – Chaulk and Cheese. Jake Shieids hasn’t proven to be that good of an import – 1-2 with that win being a close split decision and one of the losses get pummelled in like 50 seconds. In case you just came out from under a rock, Dan and Nick were previously in the UFC. So they are not exactly imports. But, since Nick has been out of the UFC, he hasn’t fought much top 10 competition. Dan at 205 is a force – but again, HE’S BEEN IN THE UFC AND REALLY ONLY LEFT BECAUSE HE COULDN’T GET WHAT HE WANTED. So you’re using bad examples.

          • RonnieV

            Well, you say Dan is a force in the UFC, and yet Jake Shields kicked his ass, and then went five rounds with GSP(inlficting more damage). Shields has had one bad loss in the past 7 years. So go play with your “chaulk & cheese”, must be a Wisconsin thing. I’ll say the same thing I said in another post. Melendez, Shields & Diaz, they are all ranked high by the organizations & the experts for a reason, and they are all consistent. Silly me for listening to them and not you experts on the chat boards.

    • Mario

      Stop sucking the UFC’s d**k, dude! You’re basically swallowing it at this point.

      Gilbert deserves top 2 status. Give him a break. Besides, what the hell are you even saying? You think Melendez is all hype, you diss him, yet – you’re campaigning for him to join the UFC? I don’t get it.

      How can you hate on a guy, and still want him to get into the biggest MMA organization? I would guess any REAL fan would want these guys to succeed, not fail. I personally think Gilbert would fare well against any of their top guys. I’m not biased like you.

      You’re just a hater / UFC fanboy.

  • MikeMc1983

    I’m not that big a fan of Edgar. However, the masvidal fight, and Gilbert’s comments afterward have led me to think he’d have quite a bit of trouble with Edgar.
    Gilbert said that he should have taken the fight down, but that’s easier said then done. He said that masvidal has akward movement so he’s harder to takedown then people realize.
    With that being said, there might be no one that has more difficult footwork to figure out. Edgar is really quick, low to the ground, and all around hard to takedown, and/or keep down.
    Other than Gilbert catching Edgar with a ko punch I don’t think he has much of a prayer pointing Edgar out on the feet. (I can’t imagine anyone thinks Gil could point out Edgar standing)
    From a matchup stand point I think this fight is likely well in Edgar’s favor. Edgar might not even be the better fighter, but I don’t think the fight styles work well for Gilbert.

  • boakid81

    Mario
    Please get off Melendez nutsack, he needs to face top 10 opponents to be ranked #2.

    What a joke you are… Please move him into the UFC and he will get smashed.

    • RonnieV

      Hey Dumbass, he has fought several Top 10 contenders over the past five years (Aoki, Thomson, Kawajiri, Guida) and he’s beaten them all. He’s been ranked longer than anyone on the list. Heck even Masvidal would be an above average lightweight in the UFC. Anybody that doesn’t think Melendez deserves his ranking is frickin’ ignorant. UFC is keeping him in Strikeforce for a reason… it’s called money!!!

      • RonnieV

        Btw, Masvidal has only fought two lightweights on the current UFC roster: Joe Lauzon & Yves Edwards. Guess what, he knocked them both out. The UFC will start moving lightweights to Strikeforce to challenge Melendez, otherwise his next fight should be against an impressive Caros Fodor.

      • mikeplacencia

        absolutely right

  • boakid81

    Guida was from 2006 over 5 years ago… Like i said before put Melendez in the UFC now and he wont even beat

    Frankie Edgar
    Gray Maynard
    Ben Henderson

    And probably wont even beat
    Jim Miller
    Clay Guida
    Donald Cerrone

    Were talking 2011 ‘Now’

    Thank You

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001006247081 nickpanetta

    frankie would run gilbert melendez. ya melendez is good but frankie is so much better than him in every way possible. ya melendez runs through people but i could probably beat the guys strikeforce gives him. what a joke scott coker stick to jerking off overeem and stfu

  • bdono554

    I want to see everyone who’s in any top 10 ranking that’s out of the UFC in the UFC! Even the ones I hate! someone thinks there top 10 let them prove it in the organization that has the most talent. Hell pelenty of “top 10″ fighters have left the UFC unranked. one guy did it for the second time in his career this year.

  • MikeMc1983

    So I’m curious, are a bunch of people on here saying that they don’t believe a person should be ranked if they are not in the UFC? I’m asking honestly. I don’t know if it’s Gilbert or if it’s any non UFC contender.

    • MillerTime

      i dont understand how you can rank a fighter that is not in the ufc, not saying they dont desirve it i just dont understand it, they are not fighting the higher level of people that ufc fighters are, BUT they ranked nick diaz pretty high and he delivered against bj penn, so we will have to wait and see

      • Prodigy815

        Nick Diaz has been fighting bloated lightweights and non-wrestlers.Let’s see what happens when he fights a legitimate threat in Carlos Condit.

  • MikeMc1983

    I personally don’t have Gilbert, shields, or Diaz ranked nearly as high as alot of others do. I just don’t see what others do. I don’t however think everyone is an idiot because they don’t agree with me. I just understand that we all analyze differently. And yes I think I do it better than everyone else. ;)
    I don’t believe anyone believes that shields lived up to the hype he had when he was entering the UFC. I think it was because he was over hyped. He’s a decent fighter. I view him like a Damien Maia. Shields is a bit more well rounded, but guys fight them the same way. Shields did damage to Gsp, but in context to the fight plan. Gsp did everything he wanted, shields wasn’t able to do anything he wanted.
    I’ve always viewed nick about the same. He’s well rounded, but not great at anything. Cardio may get him far. I think it will get him much farther in places that are not the UFC. I think on average the guys making more money may be putting more time into training. As much as people talk about his “boxing” it’s really never been too impressive. He’s just a decently well rounded guy. To me, the great fighters are usually well rounded, but also are great at something. Except for Edgar who I believe wins with just great speed, not a great skill. Which is why I don’t rank him too high either.
    Gilbert is well rounded as well, but I think he’s even less impressive than Diaz. His wrestling is better, but he’s probably less in every other way. Gilbert may do well in the UFC. I think he has the best shot, but only because I believe that division is so soft. If I had to gamble I would pick against Gilbert vs. most of the top 5 lightweights, but it’s pretty close. Any of those guys can win, but for me, it’s because I can picture all of the guys loseing. Just a sorry division like the two others under it.

  • D-rail

    Let’s face the truth about overated Frankie Edgar and the UFC’s top 5. First off, he’s almost been finished two times by Maynard of which both of their weaknesses were exposed “THEIR CHINS”,despite Edgar’s lucky close calls. There’s really not crazy top 5 competition like everyone makes out to be, even the UFC’s top 5 hyped tittle contenders have fallen short. Example:MELVIN Guillard & Jim Miller RIGHT??.. Now people make comments like “Hey Gil Melendez would get eaten alive by UFC’s top five” & “He wouldn’t even get pass Guida”..Guida? are u kidding me?? Who’s really a MMA fan on this forum that sais stuff like that. They use to say the same SH…T about WEC fighters, and look who’s challenging Edgar in Japan people, “BEN HENDERSON” Who’s belt got snagged by a brutal kick to “DA FACE”!!. So, YES I DO BELIEVE GIL CAN BEAT FRANKIE EDGAR!! beacause Gil is a very smart fighter that has proven himself through top competition, has a chin, can out wrestle & out strike Edgar. There’s a reason Dana wanted him in the UFC before he saw pocket change from Strike Force RIGHT?. Even if he doesn’t out strike edgar, if that fight was to take place, he will finish what Maynard coudn’t.

    • RonnieV

      Well said

  • MikeMc1983

    Even though d-rail and I said a few of the same things, please no one combine what we’ve said. D-rail, you went a bit over the top. I don’t quite understand how you came to your position on Gilbert vs. Edgar.
    I believe that the whole division is quite soft in the UFC, but I still believe Gil is behind the top of it.
    Being a fan of fighters is an excuse to exaggerate their abilities. Maybe that’s what you were doing when you were talking about Edgar being out strikes, and wrestled?

  • D-rail

    MikeMc1983, my comments & opinions stand alone. U see, facts are key in the sport of MMA. I Think Frankie would make a better though he would still face stiff competition there. What’s your list of top five in any division if neither UFC & Strike Force’s(King of the cage) are soft? The truth is, Gil is going to spend his prime in Whacked Force all because Dana stuck some chump change deal with Showtime for rating comparison over boxing. All ego, because Showtime has nothing to really offer but amateur boxing.

  • D-rail

    Apologies for my phone’s auto spelling. Anyway, I think Frankie is good & will probably end up at 145. He’s got a lot of heart for sure, but that could end up getting him choked out unconscious on his next title defense. Point being, Gil’s true shot at taking Edgar’s belt might be far gone, thanx to Dana denying the true lightweight champ his UFC belt….again not a exaggerated Melendez fan, just for the record.

  • MikeMc1983

    I wasn’t as much saying that the UFC has a weak lightweight division as I was saying that the entire lightweight division is pretty weak. All sports have time periods where certain positions are really strong. Like in the nfl qb’s were really strong in the 90’s.
    The lightweight division seems to have a bunch of b level fighters that get to be called A’s simply because no true A’s exsist anymore. I explained it in another post in a similar topic.
    I think it’s quite possiable Gilbert could do well in the UFC though I’m not sure any of his abilities in the cage have shown that. Maybe his record makes it look like he’s really good on paper, but watching his skills in the cage I would think would leave everyone underwhelmed.
    That being said, there’s no one in that division in the UFC I can’t picture loseing to a lot of people. It’s a bit of a coin flip.

  • maddawgmar

    First off there are valid points made, and idiotic ones as well. When considering a top ten ranking they look at who they have beaten and who has beaten them. Such as Jake Shield lost to Ellenberger, and Ellenberger lost to Condit, but Condit got spanked by Shields. Any given day this could happen. With Melendez as well. The level of competition that Melendez has beaten is high. Will he beat Edgar? Maybe not, but he can hang with him. Any day any fighter can beat anyone. Alot of you said he needs to go to the UFC to prove himself, well he’s not. Not because he doesn’t want to but because the boss says no. But to discredit Melendez because he’s not in the big show is ignorant and shows the lack of knowledge you have of the sport. Every fighter fought somewhere else before the UFC. And alot of these top guys fought the same competition in other organizations. Bottom line Melendez deserves his top 2 status.

    • RonnieV

      Great post!

  • boakid81

    Like i said before, Gil Melendez needs to prove hes #1 or #2. I cant beleive he thinks he is #1 please prove it.

    I think he will get smashed by
    Frankie Edgar
    Gray Maynard
    Ben Henderson

    And probably wont even beat
    Jim Miller
    Clay Guida
    Donald Cerrone

    Were talking 2011 ‘Now’

    Thank You

  • D-rail

    Well said maddawgmar. I just don’t see any of UFC top five carrying an organization like Strikeforce like Gil has, let alone being one of the reasons why Showtime got bailed out of dropping ratings. Sorry, not any of those top five dudes from the very first post, not a very good list. Let’s face it, like Gil or not, you will all continue watching him on Strikeforce mow through whatever ****** competition Scott can put together, something crappy like “Gil vs Josh Thomson 3″…..what a cruel joke.

  • b-soc

    RonnieV, you lost me on the Wisconsin thing. And MMA math doesn’t work. Dan hasn’t fought at 185 since losing to Shields because he said the cut is too hard at this stage in his career. Also, I don’t look at subjective rankings – I look at recent top level compeition. Lets see: Jake got destroyed by it and Nick hasn’t been fighting it, except for Paul Daley who isn’t that hot. And don’t even say BJ because he is truly a LW. Since you seem to be into it with everyone, I’m going to end my responses with you.

  • 1mmafrk

    I guess Is hard to convince Zuffa nut-huggers, with limited intelligence and knowledge of the game that won’t allow them to see past the UFC.

  • MikeMc1983

    It never ceases to amaze me how many guys on here like to talk about hugging nuts. With how often it gets brought up, sometimes I get startled and think I must have accidently accessed a Broke Back Mountain message board.

    • RonnieV

      Brokeback MMA chatboards… scary stuff! When it’s all said and done, Melendez has no choice but to stay in Strikeforce. He’s there because of the Showtime deal, and it’s UFC’s decision to keep him their as the marguee name for Strikeforce. For you idiots (boakid/b-soc)that think only UFC fighters should be ranked, continue to be ignorant. Some of the guys you mentioned will soon be sent to Strikeforce to fight Melendez, and a bunch of you will be eating crow. Until then keep eating your “chaulk & cheese” (whatever the hell that means)

  • D-rail

    True that. Strikefarse will soon become the UFC’s recycle bin.Example Dana’s boy: Keith Jardine. Almost pointles to keep knocking on the UFC door when the boss puts you in the mailroom, but oh yes, shut your mouth if you’re in strikefarse because Zuffa owns your future too. Don’t want to piss off the “Baby eagle” (Dana) cause you’ll find yourself on some funky Inside MMA highlight reel in some ****** state fighting for $200.

  • MikeMc1983

    Ronnie, my question for you is what your response would be if the UFC sent over their let’s say #4-#7 guys, and they beat Gilbert? Will you be eating crow as you say?
    There just fight picks. I don’t hold it against him that he’s not in the UFC, but I do expect a bit more if he’s fighting weaker guys.
    I have no idea what you guys are talking about when you say he’s been carrying strikeforce. They’ve had one event since their bigger names left. It was one event. They know they have to get talent because 1 fighter can’t carry the company.
    I’ll also make a guess that the next show (gran prix finals) gets better numbers. (a show Gilbert’s not on.)
    Gilbert hasn’t carried anything. At least not yet.

    • RonnieV

      I will BBQ that crow right up. I favor Edgar verse Melendez, and maybe Henderson (hence I said Top 2 or 3). The other guys simply do not deserve to be ahead of Melendez in rankings. I never said Melendez is carrying Strikeforce, but he is now the Marquee name since they are getting rid of their Heavyweight division, and Diaz, Henderson, and Shields already jumped ship.

  • D-rail

    Gil and Luke is what Showtime asked Dana to keep in Strikeforce, their only two relevant stars which equal ratings. It’s a fact like it or not, the rest is bootie and without them it minus will be “King Of The Cage”. Remember, UFC fighters use to say the same thing about WEC fighters, that they hadn’t fought any worthy competition like they had, and now who’s part of the UFC’s top five?…my, my, how soon we forget.