Strikeforce Results: Melendez Beats Masvidal, Calls for Contenders to Come to Strikeforce

December 18, 2011
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Gilbert Melendez went into his latest Strikeforce title defense looking to prove he was the No. 1 lightweight in the world.

The champion certainly pitched a shutout over opponent Jorge Masvidal, but it wasn’t the convincing performance he was looking for, but still earned a one-sided unanimous decision win to defend his belt for a third consecutive time.

Melendez came out firing right away and Masvidal, who is normally a great counter puncher, just couldn’t find a rhythm to slow the champion down.

A quick 1-2 combination opened the fight, popping Masvidal in the face, and it never seemed to slow down from there for the challenger. Melendez was headhunting the entire fight and came after Masvidal with big, powerful shots.

The only problem with Melendez’s attacks were for as one-sided as the fight seemed and Masvidal struggling to fire back with much offense at all, it appeared the champion should have put the challenger away within the 25-minute allotment.

Still, Melendez crashed Masvidal time and time again with a flurry of punches, and the American Top Team fighter just couldn’t answer back with anything more than a one strike counter.

The end saw Melendez win 50-45, 50-45, and 49-46, but while it was a dominant performance, it wasn’t the kind of show that many pundits were looking for as he tried to establish himself as the true top lightweight in the sport.

Melendez explained after the fight that Masvidal was a tough stylistic match-up, and his job was to go out and win and that’s exactly what he did.

“I had to do what I had to do,” said Melendez. “Jorge’s not the easiest match-up, especially stylistically for me. This guy’s one of the toughest match-ups for me and I beat him at his own game.”

MeWhile it didn’t show much in the fight, Melendez was hoping to establish his wrestling in the bout with Masvidal but after an early attempt was shrugged off by the challenger, he opted to stand and trade instead.

“I wanted to get the takedown, but he’s not the easiest guy to take down. He has really good movement, really good distance, good length,” Melendez stated.

Now comes the argument about what’s left for Melendez in Strikeforce. The champion still has a multi-fight deal with the promotion and with him being the marquee name on the roster after Zuffa struck a new deal with Showtime to keep Strikeforce alive, it’s likely Melendez isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

So if Melendez isn’t going to the UFC, how about bringing some of the top contenders to him?

“I’m proud to be a part of Strikeforce and Showtime’s amazing, but you know what? They need to bring some guys over here and challenge me,” said Melendez. “I’d like to challenge the champ, whoever it is in the UFC, come to my hexagon and let’s fight.”

It’s unlikely the UFC will be sending either champion Frankie Edgar or Benson Henderson to Strikeforce, but the winner of an upcoming fight like the bout between Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller or possibly Anthony Pettis vs. Joe Lauzon could be just the contender Melendez is looking for.

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  • Mario

    I could see the winner of Guillard / Miller challenging Melendez.

    I personally wouldn’t mind seeing that. Sounds good.

  • KBEsq

    This is exactly what I was talking about in a previous post. A post for which I got called an ignorant moron by a clearly (now more than ever) delusional, retarded person.

    Let’s make something clear. Melendez won the fight and he’s a good lightweight, but he by no means dominated any of those rounds, and I think Masvidal won round 3. Don’t tell me a guy who cannot finish, or really even damage, a guy who is not even considered a top 20 lightweight is the best in the world. Melendez got hit a lot in this fight, and won because he was more aggressive and landed more “power” strikes. However, he didn’t even hurt Masvidal.

    If you want to call this guy number 1 or 2 in the world, fine, but I think we’re at a point where anyone doing so needs to admit they do so based upon some kind of emotional reason, not a logical one. It’s crazy to put Melendez ahead of at least 8 guys in the UFC.

    I want to see him in the UFC, but he should start against a fighter like Guillard, Lauzon, Miller, or maybe Dunham; not Edgar or Henderson.

    • RonnieV

      The judges gave Melendez all five rounds, the experts all have Melendez in the Top 2 or 3 in the world. I think they should just let you be a judge from your couch, and let you do all the rankings…. because obviously they have no clue what they are talking about.

      • Iamrozylo

        One judge gave Jorge a round.

      • KBEsq

        Yes, RonnieV, lets just never make negative or critical comments on the MMA comment forum. Cause you NEVER question things with your comments, right?

        What’s wrong with me questioning the rankings if I think it’s not justified and I give good reasons. I have honestly NEVER questioned rankings before. This is the only time.

        Finally, I really love how I get SO much s$*# for my position, but whenever someone insults me, all they do is just that: insult me. There is never any substance to what they say. Which is exactly my point. It’s an emotional decision to put Melendez there. Not a logical one.

  • Cptmats

    I expected this fight to expose the fact that Melendez is no where near the best LW in the world.
    Thats exactly what it did !

  • kdogg7280

    Lets be honest, he would love to go to UFC and calling out for the champ in UFC(Edgar or Bendo)whomever after UFC Japan to come to Strikeforce? Like anyone would go to Strikeforce that’s currently champion and on the UFC roster. NO! Too much exposure at UFC, pay per views and almost like Vegas and other foreign countries. More exposure, Strikeforce, just on Showtime, thats it. If Melendez gets the immediate shot at the champion at lightweight, he won’t turn it down, too much money to turn down. Diaz, Hendo, Overeem all defected, it’s just a matter of time he should and eventually if Cyborg gets competition, they might open a women’s division at UFC. So after UFC Japan, we will see if Melendez gets his shot.

  • RonnieV

    Melendez has beaten some of the best Lightweights in the world, he deserves his ranking. Comparing him to Miller, Guillard, and Lauzon is stupid.

  • MikeMc1983

    Ronnie, I think you missed what they were getting at. I could be wrong, but I don’t believe they were as much comparing him to those guys, as much as they were saying he’d probably lose to those guys.

    • RonnieV

      Which is why I would trust MMAWeekly’s rankings way before I would the clowns that post on these pages. Melendez has been ranked in the Top 10 since 2006, he avnged his only loss in the lost five years, and he whooped on Shinya Aoki. Aoki, would probably submit half the guys in the Top 10.

    • KBEsq

      No, you’re not wrong, Mike. RonnieV read my particular comment and he actually commented on how all five judges gave Melendez the fight. First of all that’s actually not true, and second, that really misses the WHOLE point of my comment. The comment had nothing to do with who won or lost the Melendez/Masvidal fight. Melendez did win, and he looked pretty good. No doubt he’s a good lightweight.

      Hell, I’m not even saying he not the best lightweight in the world. All I am saying is you cannot put him No 1 or 2 in the rankings based upon his fight history; period.

      And yes, it was not a comparison to Miller, Guillard of Lauzon, it was a call for him to fight a UFC fighter of their caliber before he gets a title shot. What’s wrong with that!? What has he got to lose? If he’s so great, then he’ll run through those guys and get the title shot, right?

      BTW, who are the best lightweights in the world that he’s beat? That’s just a ridiculous comment. He’s beat “good” lightweights. Not the best in the world.

      • RonnieV

        If he comes to the UFC he deserves a title shot, because the UFC is keeping him in Strikeforce as an investment. He’s the biggest name left in their organization. I wouldn’t be surprised if the UFC sent some of the guys you named to Strikeforce to fight Melendez.

  • MikeMc1983

    You have to admit that aoki looked pretty bad in that fight.

    From what I see it’s tough for a guy to lose a high ranking if he doesn’t lose. People don’t like to drop guys who are winning. That’s helped Gilbert out quite a bit. Not just himself, but also the “top guys” he beat. He beat top guys who hadn’t lost in awhile, but we’re not really fighting anyone either. So their rankings didn’t drop.
    The best example of this was wurdum when he beat fedor. Fedor was number one, but probably shouldn’t have been, but he just hadn’t lost, so you “they” don’t want to take his ranking away. Him being number 1 shot werdum up the list, which was probably a bit premature. Rankings are a bit emotional.

  • RonnieV

    I agree, but Melendez has paid his dues. The best lightweights haven’t always been in the UFC. Masvidal is a good fighter, I’ve seen him fight live, and I’ve always thought he was underrated. Because Melendez didn’t have an impressive victory, doesn’t mean he should be moved down in the rankings. How many times has GSP & Anderson Silva dissapointed us with less than impressive championship victories. Melendez trains with the best, and he always brings the action. I don’t understand or agree with all the lightweight rankings. I think Miller, Guillard (no longer ranked), Pettis, and even Cerrone are ranked too high. Btw, who is Michael Chandler?

    • KBEsq

      I get insulted for my apparent “ignorance” and you don’t know who Chandler is? He just beat one of the most dominant LW champs in Bellator history, Eddie Alvarez, and it was an awesome fight.

      Check it out!

      • RonnieV

        Never watched Bellator, probably never will. Don’t take it so personal dude! Sorry if you feel insulted. Btw, from your previous post, I never said all five judges gave him all five rounds, I said he won all five rounds…simple fact.

  • MikeMc1983

    I got ya, I honestly think the LW division is pretty crap. It’s funny to me how bj dominated that division with an iron fist. Crushing just about everyone, then he runs into what turns out to be stylistically his nightmare, and leaves the division. (I still believe he left because they didn’t want him crushing everyone, but edgar) and now all of a sudden the division is considered “deep.”
    It seems like they just call a division deep if someone doesn’t crush it. Same thing will happen to middleweight if Anderson ever leaves it.

  • Iamrozylo

    Big fish in a small bowl since 2006.

  • Melendez is defiantly a big fish in a small bowl, He is a good fighter but he won a decision aginst masvidal with a hurt hand he would have lots i think he would loose to any contender in the ufc he would have a chance but not a good one i think he isnt on a level to compete with them guys we c it all the time with people who dominate a smaller show and come to ufc with a big name and the c that the competition is on a different level, u cant tell what level a good fighter is on till u c them in the ufc if there fighting people that is close to there level that isnt the best but still good they will put on good fights and still look to be as good as some top level guy until u c them in there i think him coming to the ufc would be like when they brought jake shields over or crocop from pride both people everybody couldnt wait to c there and then they c the different level kinda the same for takanori gomi and i think it would be the same for aoki just dont think they would do good

    • RonnieV

      Weak argument! The only reason Melendez is staying in Strikeforce is because of money, and he’s the biggest name that organization has left (which makes him an investment for the UFC). The fight game has evolved, Cro-Cop & Gomi were dominant the same time as Liddell, Ortiz, Arlovski & Tim Sylvia were dominant. Aoki is still dominant, and the only person to really man handle him was Melendez. The elite fighters now are just better well-rounded. Jake Shields is still one of the best Welterweights, GSP & Ellenberger are just better. Shields actually did pretty well against GSP, and he destroyed Dan Henderson last year(now Henderson is in UFC title contention). There are a bunch of Strikeforce guys that could come in and compete against the best right now: Tyron Woodley,Caros Fodor, Bigfoot Silva, Moussasi, Noons, Cormier, Masvidal, Aoki, Melendez to name a few. Then there is Diaz, who I think will be the next Welterweight Champion (insert Diaz hater comment

  • i think mike mc has a point to, dont think lightweight is really deep in ufc i think bj penn could dominate it once edgar is out of the way but i also think benson henderson can dominate it also i think he will take it from edgar and i think he is to well rounded for sombody like gray or melvin to compete with him then that just leaves bj in the picture again if he was to come back and i dont think melendez could beat henderson or bj

  • RonnieV

    It’s always fun to debate, we all have our opinions….. nothing personal!

  • MikeMc1983

    Fun to debate? You mean our lives don’t depend on this crap? I’m out of here then!