Strikeforce Recap: Gilbert Melendez beats Jorge Masvidal at his own gamePosted on December 18, 2011, 02:05 AM by Trent Reinsmith
Jorge Masvidal was looked upon as the fighter that was going to put Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez to the test. While he did take the champion to the five round limit, you would be hard pressed to say he put him to any type of test. Yes, Melendez’s face was far more marked up than that of Masvidal, but the stats told another story as Melendez outstruck Masvidal 145 to 109 and delivered far more power strikes, landing 94 to Masvidal’s 21.
-Did the fight help or hurt Melendez? As far as his recognition as one of the top lightweight fighters in the world, his performance certainly didn’t help him, but I’m not sure hit hurt him either. His performance was solid if slightly unremarkable. Let’s face it, he would have needed a finish to advance his status in the division and since he didn’t he’ll remain stuck behind Frankie Edgar in the overall lightweight rankings.
-What’s next for Melendez? After the fight he asked the UFC to bring fighters over to Strikeforce to challenge him. That’s not a bad idea, but who? Do you throw Clay Guida over or perhaps the loser of the Edgar vs. Ben Henderson fight or maybe even give Kenny Florian a shot at the Strikeforce crown? It’s a tough call, but it may be the right thing to do.
Questions following Saturday’s Strikeforce Card:
-Who can challenge Santos? Seriously, Yamanaka was supposed to be the number two ranked 145 pounder and she was dispatched in 16 seconds and that was after Santos had been out of action for over a year. Is it fair to ask her to drop to 135? If she can make the weight, then what happens, she beats on fighters that are smaller than her? That somehow doesn’t seem fair to the 135 pounders or to Santos.
-What’s next for Gegard Mousasi? Strikeforce needs to name a light heavyweight champion and fast. That belt has not been contested for since Dan Henderson won it back in March, 2011. Do you put him up against former champion Rafael Cavalcante for his next bout and make that for the vacant title and if so, where does that leave Mo Lawal and Renato Sobral in the title shot mix?
LowKick.com Main Card Awards:
-Fight of the Night: I’d like to give it Melendez and Masvidal, but I think it needs to go to Noons and Evangelista. That fight was much closer and was decided by the third round. Overall, I think it was the more exciting fight. Sure, Melendez and Masvidal was for the title and Melendez showed that he can stand and bang, but for an entertaining fight, it was Noons and Evangelista.
-Performance of the Night: Cyborg Santos. Out 18 months and comes back and finishes her fight in 16 seconds, that’s a dominant champion.
-Finish of the Night: Cyborg Santos. 15 punches, all power punches in 16 seconds to end the fight, you don’t get much more efficient than that.
Photo: Tracy Lee for Cagewriter.com