Gilbert Melendez Says He Has Done More Than Ben Henderson to Earn Title Shot


For all the talk of how "thrilled" Gilbert Melendez is to remain in Strikeforce, there are still plenty of moments where he indicates otherwise. Most recently in an interview he did with Famous TV.

ESPN has a transcript of Melendez's statements:

"I don't feel like I shouldn't be in this position, I'm not crying about my position but I think I've done more than Ben Henderson," told Fighting Famous TV. "You know, these guys were on The Ultimate Fighter - I was already fighting in PRIDE and ranked top three in the world but some people just don't understand that.

"I'm not trying to be a cry baby again, but I just know my history and I've been there. I've already hit these bumps in the road and come back. Some of these guys haven't hit that bump in the road where they have to reinvent themselves and I've already hit that and they're still going to hit that."

This is the ultimate problem with Melendez in Strikeforce. Yes, he's a professional, but when a man feels that he isn't getting the opportunities that he deserves, it can lead to complacency through a sense of dissatisfaction.

For Melendez, his future is fights with men he has already defeated or men who aren't truly on his level. When you've spent your career establishing that you're one of the best in the world, get to the #2 spot and now are relegated to fighting fringe talents while you watch men you feel haven't "earned it" as much as you get bigger opportunities, it is bound to create some level of animosity.

For Melendez, what's the end game here?

I'm holding firm to the idea that Zuffa must send some fighters to Strikeforce to challenge Melendez. Yes, it may result in payouts that somewhat outpace the cash generated by the events, but that's what it takes to build up a promotion and fighters.

There's a lot of talk that a UFC fighter may see a temporary move to Strikeforce as some sort of horrible demotion, but it's an opportunity to fight the number two lightweight on the planet. For a man like Kenny Florian, unlikely to ever get another shot at a UFC title, that may be something tempting as a mark on his resume. A title run (yes, a secondary title) and the marquee win in his career.

Or even a Sean Sherk, unlikely to ever get to the top of the UFC heap at this point in his caeer but a fully legitimate test for Melendez.

An option like these is something that has to happen for the good of Melendez and Strikeforce as a whole.

SBN coverage of Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal

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