Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Strikeforce Returns For One Night Stand in San Jose Saturday
By Joshua Molina
If Strikeforce will have a legacy beyond Ronda Rousey, it begins and ends Saturday night.
UFC on FOX 7 features former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez challenging UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson, in a major fight, featuring two champions in their primes. Melendez is not as quick or technically skilled as Henderson. On paper, he will lose a five-round decision, or get submitted.
But Melendez has something that puts him in the fight; he has heart and power. Melendez looked bad in his last squeaker victory over longtime rival Josh Thomson nearly a year ago. A shoulder injury kept Melendez out of action in fights scheduled for both October and January.
Melendez will need to keep the fight standing, and stay on top if the fight goes to the ground. If he doesn’t pull off a miracle, he’ll go down as another Strikeforce guy who fell short in his bid for UFC gold.
Former Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion Daniel Cormier is in a different situation than Melendez. Most people believe Cormier will beat Frank Mir, and then drop down to light heavyweight to fight Jon Jones.
But don’t count Mir out. Anyone who submitted the massive Brock Lesnar has the potential to beat Cormier.
. . . In what will probably be the fight of the night, underrated former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Josh Thomson fights Nate Diaz.
Both these guys are fearless warriors. Thomson may be hungrier and might be quick and smooth enough in the cage to outpoint Diaz.