When Melendez and Kawajiri first met at Pride Shockwave 2006, there were many that believed that Kawajiri should have been awarded the decision victory.
Four years later, they once again were set to faceoff against each other. This time around, the winner would leave San Diego as the Strikeforce lightweight champion.
So, would Melendez retain his title, or would Kawajiri be bringing a belt home to Japan with him?
The fight was all Melendez, all day.
Melendez seemed like a man on a mission as soon as the fight began. He tagged Kawajiri with everything and the kitchen sink, and Kawajiri had visible damage on the left side of his face just three minutes in to the fight.
Then Kawajiri made the mistake of trying to shoot in on Melendez. The takedown was easily stuffed and then it was the beginning of the end.
Melendez started raining down with heavy elbows—which are legal in Strikeforce now—until the referee was forced to step in and stop the match.
The official end came via TKO at 3:15 of the first round.
After such a dominant performance, one has to question how long Zuffa and company are going to allow Melendez to feast on whoever Strikeforce feeds him.
In reality, Josh Thomson is the only viable opponent left for Melendez. However, Thomson is still injured and no return date was announced when he joined Gus Johnson and the rest if the crew.
Melendez vs. Edgar or Maynard anyone?