This coming Saturday, December 17th, SHOWTIME will air what could potentially be the last STRIKEFORCE event as the company gets swallowed by ZUFFA. The main event features a terrific lightweight fight between Gilbert Melendez and Jorge Masvidal. It is unlikely that fans are giving Masvidal much of a chance. Most fans wanted to see Melendez go right to the UFC and a title fight there, which would have cancelled this fight. And the truth is that it has potential to be a great fight and I want to see it!
I have known Masvidal for a long time, in fact I was the matchmaker for most of his first dozen or so fights, and I have seen him growing in his skills and dedication. If you go on YOUTUBE, you can still find video of a young, long haired Masvidal fighting bareknuckle fist fights in back yards. Let’s just say he has come a long way.
Masvidal brings that ‘pissed off’ attitude to fights, he has the mentality of a guy who would be fighting for free, the fact that he gets paid to do it is just a bonus. He is a Nick Diaz type to in terms of attitude.
And, like Diaz, he backs it up. He trained for a long time under the Avellan brothers in Florida on the ground, and both Marcos and David are really underrated. If he has to use a ground game, he has it. His boxing is outstanding, and his kicking and clinch work are underrated. He also has had a lot of time to prepare for this fight, and when Masvidal is focused you usually get a better fight.
Melendez is Melendez however. There is a reason why he is in the top 3 of the lightweight division in most ratings, despite not being tested under UFC competition yet. He is a rugged winner, he has avenged the two losses on his record and he has also benefited from training with world class people since the start of his career.
I’m not even going to pick a winner in this one, I’m just going on record that this is going to be a great fight. If it gets boring or methodical, I will be very surprised. STRIKEFORCE has a gem here for their swan song!