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Following his Win Gilbert Melendez seeks Top Competition

| December 18, 2011 | Reply

Coming off his unanimous decision victory of Jorge Masvidal at last night’s Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal, the champion made it clear his was happy to be with Strikeforce. That confirmation came on the heels of Melendez finding out that Strikeforce had signed a new deal with Showtime thus keeping “El Nino” at home inside the hexagon of Strikeforce.

Ever since ZUFFA purchased Strikeforce back in March Melendez has seen other Strikeforce champions Nick Diaz and Dan Henderson more over to the UFC and had figured he’d eventually join them. That desire to fight in the UFC will have to wait but that didn’t stop Melendez from calling out the lightweights in the UFC.

“Come to my hexagon and fight!” said Melendez during his post fight interview with Mauro Ranallo.

Since it’s still “Business as usual” and the UFC doesn’t cross promote that is not going happen, BUT everyone knows that “Business as usual” is just a saying and holds no merit so anything is possible. With that being said the current lightweight roster of Strikeforce offers little options for viable opposition.

In House options:

As mentioned above there isn’t much in-house for Melendez and the names below will not have fans jumping out of their seats with excitement.

Caros Fodor: Also fighting on last night’s card, Fodor won his fourth in a row by defeated lightweight prospect Justin Wilcox with an impressive knockout in 13 seconds. Before his appearance last night, Fodor had only fought on the challenger’s cards for Strikeforce. He’s moving up the ladder within the promotion but is still a fight or two away from a legitimate title shot.

Pat Healy: The veteran has won three in a row and six of his last seven fights, thing is that one loss was against the former lightweight champion Josh Thomson. Healy has looked good of late and has held a title before in Maximum Fighting Champion, as a welterweight. Maybe a fight with Fodor on the March card for a shot against Melendez later in 2012?

Outside options:

Options outside ZUFFA are limited but if Strikeforce is going to bring in new top talent they will need to look at other promotions like Bellator, MFC and others.

Michael Chandler: The relative newcomer to mainstream MMA is coming off a great fight with Eddie Alvarez to become the Bellator lightweight champion. Chandler’s stock is on the raise and bringing over a current champion from another top promotion could be a big move from Strikeforce along with a good fight for Melendez.

Eddie Alvarez: Like Melendez, Alvarez has expressed his interests to take on the world’s top lightweights. He is coming off a loss and is not the champ anymore but it’s a fight fans have wanted to see in the past and should be easy to sell.

Antonio McKee: Before he lost is one and only UFC fight, McKee had won 11 in a row and was the MFC lightweight champion. He won his last bout and is schedule to face Brian Cobb at MFC 32 for the vacant lightweight title. Not the most exciting option but when working with a stacked deck you make due with what you got.

UFC options:

Current UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar is not going to step into the Strikeforce cage even if he were to lose at UFC 142 against Ben Henderson. In fact knowing how hard it is to get into the UFC and climb that tall ladder you’d be hard pressed to find a UFC lightweight jumping at this opportunity. Surely there is someone out there gutsy enough to accept the challenge.


The options are limited and unless Strikeforce/ZUFFA pulls a rabbit out of the bag of tricks the champion is going to be unhappy. Melendez is one of the top lightweights in the world and needs top competition, keeping him in Strikeforce makes sense from a business stand point but could backfire unless the right moves are made.

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Tags: Antonio McKee, Caros Fodor, Eddie Alvarez, Frankie Edgar, Gilbert Melendez, Lightweight, Michael Chandler, MMA, pat healy, Strikeforce, Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal, UFC, Zuffa

Category: Exclusive, Featured, MMA, Strikeforce, UFC

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