Strikeforce Results: What to Do With Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez

Photo by Dave Mandel for Sherdog

Before the UFC swept in with their handfuls of cash, Strikeforce was a pseudo-national MMA organization of moderate success. Without the necessary roster to support deep divisions of talent, Strikeforce owner Scott Coker and matchmaker Rich Chou were forced to manage their resources carefully and creatively in order to sign bouts that appealed to a national audience.

This was evident with their first card following the purchase of EliteXC's assets in February of 2009. Coker and Chou took San Jose-favorite Frank Shamrock and pitted him against newly-acquired welterweight Nick Diaz in a catchweight bout at 179 pounds. The catchweight gimmick continued on their next major show as Jake Shields agreed to fight Robbie Lawler at 182 pounds in the main event.

Once the company settled in, they began to focus on developing traditional talent pools in the five major weight classes. It was a task made tougher by the fact that the vast majority of talent concentrated in the UFC.

The problem peaked in January when welterweight champion Nick Diaz defended his title against Evangelista Santos. Santos, owning a career 18-13 MMA record, challenged for Diaz's titled after a lone victory at 170 pounds over Marius Zaromskis. He put on a spirited performance, but ultimately fell to a Diaz submission late in the second round.

With Diaz's victory over Paul Daley and Gilbert Melendez trouncing Tatsuya Kawajiri last night, the Strikeforce brain trust finds themselves in a familiar position. By wiping out Daley, Diaz eliminated the only fighter ranked in our Consenus Rankings under Strikeforce contract. Melendez whacked the number eight lightweight, but still has number four Shinya Aoki, who submitted Lyle Beerbohm within two minutes last night, waiting should Strikeforce be able to secure his services.

But fans want to see both men fighting the elites in the UFC (as evidenced by the trollish 4% who answered no in last night's absurd Showtime poll), and Melendez himself called for a unification bout between himself and the eventual UFC champion.

Scott Coker believes we'll see crossover fights in eight months to a year, but the situation with Melendez and (moreso) Diaz is immediate. Melendez has Aoki, but a victory would erase his final Strikeforce challenger. Diaz has no viable contenders in line outside of Tyron Woodley, an 8-0 prospect without any meaningful victories on his ledger.

Opening up the possibility for UFC fighters to crossover (or vice versa) just makes sense at this point. It would allow Diaz to fight the likes of Josh Koscheck (and split up the AKA logjam at the top of the UFC's welterweight division), providing him the top ten opponent that fans have demanded.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker