Melendez defeats Jorge Masvidal, invites UFC Lightweights to StrikeforcePosted on December 18, 2011, 12:30 AM by Anton Gurevich
Gilbert Melenez defended his Strikeforce Lightweight title for the third time, winning a clean Unanimous Decision against Jorge Masvidal in San Diego, California.
Melendez controlled the action during all three rounds, effectively staying outside Masvidal's striking range. "El Nino" punished the challenger with perfectly-timed striking combinations that maybe lacked KO power, but definitely did enough to "kill" Masvidal's gameplan.
Speaking about gameplans, it looked like Jorge Masvidal is unable to get anything going in this fight. "Gamebred" was stuck in the counter punching position, occasionally throwing a flying knee that was simply not enough to take the title from someone like Gilbert Melendez.20
Judges' scorecards tell the story with a 50-45, 50-45, 49-46 victory for Gilbert Melendez, who improves his MMA record to 20-2.
Speaking to post-fight Mauro Ranallo, Gilbert Melendez related to the recent developments around the future of Strikeforce on Showtime, claiming that he's proud to be the Strikeforce Lightweight Champion. Melendez continued, calling out "whoever has that UFC belt" to test his skills inside the hexagonal Strikeforce cage.
Strikeforce Lightweight division has a very limited choice of potential challengers for Melendez's belt, with Caros Fodor currently being the #1 contender in the division following tonight's victory over Justin Wilcox. The winner (or loser) of Lauzon-Pettis bout could prove himself as an ideal challenger for Melendez's belt, while young up-and-comers like Tony Ferguson could make a name for themselves by competing, and perhaps winning against someone of Melendez's caliber.