View Full Version : Melendez even money vs. anyone

04-14-2011, 09:14 PM
Fans are clamoring. So are the fighters. And while everyone will have to wait until at least February of next year before the best from Strikeforce can challenge their counterparts in UFC, there's no harm in looking ahead -- especially in light of the performances put on by Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez on Saturday.

Of the two Cesar Gracie-trained Strikeforce champions, I'd much prefer to see Melendez get his shot first. It's impossible to dislike what Nick does as a fighter, and I'd certainly be curious to see if he can draw Georges St. Pierre into a firefight (this assumes GSP beats Jake Shields on April 30 in Toronto), but good luck convincing me he's more worthy of the opportunity than "El Niño."

Melendez is widely regarded as a top-three lightweight. He's on my top-10 pound-for-pound list -- and should be on everyone's for that matter. His two losses were avenged. He was the No. 1-ranked fighter at 145 pounds before moving up in weight. And he's just now entering the prime of his career.

So, as you can see, there's no debating Melendez's merits.

With Diaz, as compelling a figure as he is, nothing on his résumé comes close to Melendez's accomplishments. That's not a slam on what he does in the cage. That's just reality.

Right here, right now, I make Melendez even money against Frankie Edgar or Gray Maynard, who vie again for the UFC lightweight belt in May. Unless you're from the 209 or a die-hard Diaz fan, the same can't be said of the welterweight's chances against St. Pierre.

In the end, it comes down to who deserves what. And as much fun as it might be to see Diaz tangle with St. Pierre, the division he fights in is exponentially less threatening outside the UFC than in it. Lightweight offers another scenario entirely. After the UFC dropped the division for a stretch, 155-pounders continued to ply their trade and the weight class flourished internationally. That's how Melendez worked himself into the position he is in today, and why Diaz can't rightly claim to be a title contender ahead of Jon Fitch, B.J. Penn and many others. Give me Diaz versus Carlos Condit before Diaz-GSP.

Anyone but Maynard or Edgar would be a step down for Melendez. He knows that, which is why he's openly asking for those fights -- and why I am, too.

04-14-2011, 09:24 PM
I honestly can't wait for Melendez to get into the UFC. He's the most exciting addition in my eyes. Him and Jacare have the best chance of caring over there success. Diaz needs to learn to deal with the wrestlers first.

I honestly think Melendez has what it takes to be UFC champion. He has all the tools. Would make for some damn exciting fights. Melenez vs Pettis? DAMN! Now that makes me wanna drool.

04-14-2011, 09:35 PM
Melendez definitely has what it takes to be the UFC champ.

I hope Melendez gets his title shot after Pettis, and that's if Pettis can get passed Guida, which I think he can.

04-15-2011, 02:31 AM
Melendez is the #1 LW IMO....

Monte Fisto
04-16-2011, 04:07 PM
Melendez is the #1 LW IMO....Melendez has a legit shot at beating any of the top LWs. However, I wouldn't favor him over Edgar or even Alvarez.

But Melendez seems to have that X factor.