Strikeforce Results: Why the UFC Needs to Sign Barnett, Cormier and Melendez

Jordy McElroyCorrespondent IMay 20, 2012

Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier - Kyle Terada/US PRESSWIRE
Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier - Kyle Terada/US PRESSWIRE

Josh Barnett, Daniel Cormier and Gilbert Melendez served their time in Strikeforce, and now, the time has come for the UFC to give these MMA stars an opportunity to compete on a more fitting stage.

Outside of Barnett, Cormier and Fedor Emelianenko, every relevant heavyweight in the world is already under contract with the UFC.

Considering Emelianenko's track record with UFC negotiations, his name is definitely off the table, but Barnett and Cormier should be shoe-ins.

The UFC has already absorbed all of Strikeforce's significant heavyweight talent. Why not take the final two remaining on the roster?

If anything, Barnett and Cormier's performance on Saturday night should be enough to validate a UFC contract. Regardless of his personal issues with UFC president Dana White, Barnett is a legend of the sport and a future Hall of Famer.

He deserves an opportunity to finish his career out with the same promotion that helped make him a star.

Meanwhile, Cormier could be an intriguing option as a heavyweight title contender. It wouldn't be a shocker if the UFC offered the former Olympian a shot at UFC gold upon entry.

As the Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion, a title fight would certainly draw a lot of attention from a UFC vs. Strikeforce perspective.

Melendez is long overdue a spot on the UFC roster. For years, fans have debated where he ranks among the very best in the lightweight division. While some are bold enough to give "El Nino" the top spot, others aren't convinced.

Melendez's lackluster performance against a game Josh Thomson certainly didn't help. A champion vs. champion fight between Melendez and the reigning UFC champ is a fight that fans have been salivating over for years.

Unfortunately, there are contract issues keeping the UFC from inking Melendez.

It's certainly not good for business. Melendez was one judge away from losing a split decision to Thomson. A loss would taint any potential blockbuster lightweight bout the UFC hopes to put together in the future.

It's time for the UFC to put pen to paper and bring over the lingering Strikeforce stars fans want to see.

Time could be running out.