Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez believes he made a strong statement this past weekend with his unanimous decision victory over Jorge Masvidal in the main event of Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal.
“El Nino” didn’t take the bout to the ground, instead, relying on his stand-up and striking to defeat Masvidal. Many believed going in that Masvidal’s only shot was if the bout stayed upright, but Melendez proved that theory wrong.
“I knew I had to strike with him, and (Masvidal) was the toughest striker I have ever faced,” said Melendez to the Showtime cameras. “But I feel like I might be the best striker in the 155 division now.”
Melendez made several remarks in the post-fight interview about being willing to meet anyone Strikeforce wanted to bring in. With the new Strikeforce-Showtime contract, Melendez will remain in the fight promotion for the time being.
Check out the video below:
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE
MMATraining Take: Melendez showed a good ability to stand and trade with Masvidal, but that technique might not be as effective against a sound wrestler like UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, or Clay Guida. Still, until Strikeforce brings in someone that can dethrone him, Melendez will be regarded as one of the elite at 155 pounds.