Gilbert Melendez had one objective on his mind entering into Saturday: Keep his Strikeforce lightweight title while showing America his fighting skills. Melendez should have remembered to do that for his fight, not after Jake Shields.
Now, this unnecessary brawl will be in the headlines rather than his magnificent win over a world-class submission artist.
Melendez moved up in the rankings in his win, only to seemingly lose it all back after his training camps pissing contest with Jason Miller. It's sad something like this will over-look his dominant win.
This article will breakdown the winners of Strikeforce, this is part 2/3. You can find the first article here.
Gilbert Melendez def. Shinya Aoki by unanimous decision.
Shinya Aoki had one advantage over Gilbert Melendez and looked like he might have success when he snatched an arm of Melendez and took him into his guard.
That was the last we saw of any competitiveness as Melendez won all five rounds. Melendez mixed up the fight all night, keeping a sheepish Aoki off-balance. Melendez hurt Aoki more than once, but was not able to finish the fight. Melendez did his best in scoring a decision win.
It was clear that Melendez was the better fighter. Aoki was one dimensional, and got paid punches for every attempt at getting a submission or transition. Melendez was able to control the fight in every round.
After this win, he definitely moves himself further up the ladder in the discussion of top-tier lightweights. Melendez should look to fight the next top-tier Strikeforce lightweight.
This match was highly anticipated, and Melendez came to deliver. You knew whoever won this fight, would separate themselves in the 155 lb. weight-class.
Melendez did just that and deserves another top fight to test himself against. I think the best options out there in Strikeforce are Josh Thomson, K.J. Noons, Billy Evangelista, or Lyle Beerbohm.
These guys are the top fighters out of Strikeforce, and out of the four I would like to see Evangelista get the title shot.
Even though Thompson won the championship fighting Gilbert Melendez, then lost it to Melendez a little over a year later. I would like to see Thompson and Lyle Beerbohm fight to get the winner of Melendez vs. Evangelista, before I wan't to see a rubber-match.
What do you think?