1 submission (5.2%)
7 decision (37%)
Gilbert Melendez In The News
Gilbert Melendez Profile
Although it may have something to do with the fact that Strikeforce was recently assimilated by UFC parent company Zuffa, LLC even the predominantly biased 'MMA media' has come to the realization that Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is the best in the world at the weight. Aside from his impressive W/L record with only two losses—both by decision—in recent years he's beaten an impressive level of competition including a fighter who at the time was considered the best lightweight fighter in the world by objective sources in Shinya Aoki. He's also beaten top Japanese star Tatsuya 'Crusher' Kawajiri twice, former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson, Mitsuhiro Ishida and a long list of other top competitors.
Melendez started his career in the WEC and has also competed in PRIDE and Shooto in Japan. Upon his return to the United States he settled in the Strikeforce organization and has been a mainstay in that promotion ever since. Melendez trains with BJJ monsters Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz and Jake Shields under Caesar Gracie, but has a different style than his stablemates. Melendez may not have the off the charts ground skills of the Diaz brothers or Shields but is extremely capable on the ground. Conversely, Melendez is a much stronger and dynamic striker than his Gracie teammates. His differing skill set is evident by looking at his wins—only one of his wins is via submission with the rest almost equally split between knockout and decision. Melendez is an exceptionally well conditioned fighter and is great at pushing the pace to keep opponents off balance—what has become known as 'opposing his will' on opponents.
Melendez currently doesn't have a fight scheduled—likely due to UFC politics. The last thing that Zuffa wants to do is expose the fact that for the past few years the world's best lightweight hasn't been their champion Frankie Edgar, but Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez.