(Hey Gil, hold up a finger for each title defense you’ve given a shit about lately.)
OMG, you guys. Rematches are like SO HOT right now. So hot, in fact, that they are being booked regardless of whether they are necessary or not. Or, in the case of the recently booked Gilbert Melendez/Josh Thompson trilogy match, whether we even want to see them.
Don’t get us wrong, the first two scraps between these two were entertaining affairs, and the third should be no different. However, its matches like these that bring into question why Strikeforce is still in existence, you know, other than the ladies. Just check out the current roster of lightweights in the promotion and scoff accordingly. There are less contenders in that lineup than your average season of Dancing with the Stars, and even your friend Randy, who blew his hand to pieces with that M-80, could count the entire talent pool using his fingers and toes, and still have some left over.
Either Strikeforce needs to start recruiting fighters fast, or Melendez will be able to defend his belt more times than Anderson Silva and GSP combined…against Josh Thompson. Given that the UFC is currently purging all of Strikeforce’s remaining talent, it seems the latter is an inevitability. What will be most interesting to see is how Strikeforce will continue to market this from here to eternity. WHO’S READY FOR MELENDEZ/THOMPSON 10 IN OUTER SPACE?!
These two last met at Strikeforce: Evolution back in December of 2009, where Melendez avenged his previous loss to Thompson (which came just one year earlier) by taking home a unanimous decision nod and the Strikeforce lightweight title. Since then, Melendez has defended the belt three times, over Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and most recently Jorge Masvidal. “The Punk,” on the other hand, has gone 3-1, scoring victories over fellow Strikeforce contender Pat Healy, Gesias Cavalcante, and K.J. Noons. His lone loss in that time came compliments of a familiar face, Tatsuya Kawajiri, at K-1 Dynamite – Power of Courage 2010.
Maybe we need to start cutting Strikeforce a little more slack; their last event provided some of the first signs of life the promotion has shown in ages. But considering that everyone from Anthony Pettis to B.J. Penn was rumored to be the next challenger to Melendez’s title, it’s pretty disappointing to hear that Thompson, who is coming off one of the worst performances of his career that resulted in a victory, is now set to face Melendez again. And that’s with all due respect to “The Punk.”
Like we said, it will likely be a great fight, so perhaps we’re complaining over nothing. But we can’t be the only ones feeling a little let down by this announcement, right?
The tentatively title Strikeforce 40, which also features the long-awaited conclusion of the heavyweight tournament, is set to transpire May 19th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.