Gilbert Melendez is a powerhouse lightweight champ. Melendez is a dominant fighter in Strikeforce, which unfortunately is a double edged sword. Melendez being such a dominant figure has unwittingly thinned out the competition in Strikeforce. What should be next is for this fighter is to join the UFC, but how soon will this happen, if it does?
Back in May of this year, Dana White made it clear that Melendez isn’t going anywhere. White also made it clear that Strikeforce wasn’t going anywhere either.
“Strikeforce is not going anywhere. And Gilbert Melendez is not going anywhere. He will fight again on Showtime.”
That was then and this is now. And right now Strikeforce is fading, leaving much to think about the fate of their premier fighters, Melendez included. Melendez is still recovering from an injury, which was a major factor that had Showtime cancel Strikeforce’s last event. However as it stands, Melendez is still contractually obligated to have four more fights with Strikeforce.
Strikeforce and UFC lay in the belly of a big fish known as Zuffa. This fact makes it easy for UFC to get a hold of Strikeforce fighters, regardless of contractual statuses. UFC started harvesting the cream of Strikeforce’s crop and Showtime was not happy. Showtime did what they could to stop UFC from taking Strikeforce’s talent. Much of the fate of Strikeforce’s fighters depends on Strikeforce’s relationship with Showtime. It’s no secret where that relationship stands, pretty shaky.
If that relationship comes to an end, it could be the end of Strikeforce. With the end of Strikeforce, UFC can and will do what it takes to get Strikeforce’s best. There’s no guarantee that UFC will pick up every prospect Strikeforce has to offer, but if it does Melendez needs to be there.
Melendez has proven that there are very few who can hold a candle to him in Strikeforce. If Melendez goes to the UFC we can hope to see him take on bigger challenges and exciting fights. Imagine the possibilities; Melendez vs. Danzig, Maynard, Diaz, the list goes on. If Melendez joins the UFC today, tomorrow, or whenever, he can be an outstanding addition. Not only would he be a strong contributor to the UFC’s success, but he would get to fight opponents he deserves.