Last weekend, Gilbert Melendez defeated Jorge Masvidal to defend his Strikeforce Lightweight Title, a title which he has held since 2009. With the acquisition of Strikeforce by the UFC, and subsequent move of welterweight champion Nick Diaz, it was assumed it was a matter of time before Melendez joined the UFC ranks.
Recently however, Strikeforce announced a renewed agree with Showtime, keeping the organization in tact and promoting shows through 2012, a big part of which was to keep the lightweight champion with the promotion. Still it doesn't keep Strikeforce President Scott Coker from believing he still has the best lightweight in the world:
“I believe he is the No. 1 lightweight in the world,” said Coker in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio that will air next week.
To justify his belief in Melendez beyond just looking at his record, Coker thinks that Melendez would best the other top lightweights, particularly UFC champion Frankie Edgar.
“Believe me, those other guys, I take nothing away from them. Listen, styles make fights, and I’m really looking at Frankie Edgar and Gilbert, that match-up as to who would win that fight and how that fight would look,” said Coker.
“Ben Henderson, Cowboy Cerrone, all those guys are extremely talented, but like I said styles make fights. I think Gilbert and Frankie would be a great fight, but I think Gilbert would come out on top.”
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