For the first time in a long time, Gilbert Melendez found himself in a fight on Saturday night.
In the co-main event of Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier, Melendez escaped with the lightweight title after a controversial split decision win over longtime nemesis Josh "The Punk" Thomson.
The bout served as an eye-opener for some who believed that Melendez was the No. 1 lightweight in the world.
After the fight, Melendez even admitted that his performance pushed him down the ranks in some people's eyes. He saw the entire bout as a "lose-lose" situation.
"I'm in a lose-lose situation against Josh. Look, even though I won, I still lost," Melendez said in his post-fight interview with Strikeforce commentator Mauro Ranallo.
While Thomson is unquestionably a solid lightweight, he doesn't make the cut in most top-10 rankings. To put it bluntly, top UFC lightweights are competing against significantly tougher opposition.
Until the UFC signs Melendez, fans will never know how "El Nino" stacks up against the best in the world.
Here are five fights we'd love to see him in next.