Gilbert Melendez, your next opponent appears to be ready.
It was completely evident that Jorge Masvidal was out to earn a title shot, putting on a dominant performance over former EliteXC champion K.J. Noons in Strikeforce.
In a battle of two former pro boxers, it was Masvidal who was the better and more accurate striker for all 15 minutes, making Noons pay for his aggressive style.
In the opening moments of the fight, Masivdal established a knee going straight up the middle that Noons had trouble with all night, and during the first round it opened a nasty cut on his head, streaming blood into his eyes.
Another knee came flying in at Noons as he ducked down with just a minute to go in the opening session, and Masvidal landed flush. Noons dropped to the canvas and into survival mode, trying to avoid the heavy handed assault from Masvidal.
Noons survived the round, but had to fight rounds two and three with a crimson mask and a swelling hematoma on his forehead.
To his credit, Noons continued to push forward and press the action, but it may have been to his detriment with Masvidal feeding on it like a moth to a flame.
“K.J. was more aggressive, he made more openings happen,” Masvidal stated. “He’s a good striker, but I’m a bad style for him. I’m a good counter fighter.”
While the remaining rounds didn’t go as badly for Noons, they didn’t much better either. Masvidal was precise with his striking and mixed in a healthy diet of takedowns to keep his opponents guessing and trying to figure out what was coming next.
Masvidal has been inconsistent during certain points in his career, but on Saturday night he looked like he knew he was fighting for a title shot. Strong in every round, the American Top Team fighter ended up with a one-sided decision, pulling a 30-27 on all scorecards to pick up the win over K.J. Noons.
While nothing was set in stone before the fight, it would appear that Jorge Masvidal is now the prime candidate to face Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez next.
“You’re not going to see me get down on my knees or nothing, but if Scott Coker wants to give me a shot, I’ll be more than happy,” Masvidal said after the win.
Melendez has been waiting for a new opponent since blasting Tatsuya Kawajiri in his last fight, and he may have found a top contender in Jorge Masvidal.