It's make or "break" time.
That's because newly-minted division number one contender Jorge Masvidal is getting his shot at "El Nino's" belt at the upcoming Strikeforce event scheduled for Dec. 17, 2011, at the Valley View Casino in San Diego, California.
While "Gamebred" doesn't pack a lot of punch from a box office perspective, he's an experienced and well-rounded fighter that can easily pose problems for Melendez on the feet.
"I’m gonna beat him up. I’m keeping that fight wherever I want it. I can take him down, or I’ll just keep hitting him in the face til he doesn’t want to be hit no more. I’m happy I got the fight because Melendez is one of the world’s top lightweights. According to most people, he is considered top three. Most of the time when I enter a fight, I’m not looking to stop a guy, but rather win a solid decision, but in this fight, I’m going for the stoppage. I’m going to put the pressure on him and make him break. I don’t want to leave it in the judges hands, especially with all the fucked up decisions these days. This is my title shot and I have to take full advantage. I don’t know if I’ll ever get another one. Who knows what’s gonna happen in life?"
After coming up short in a unanimous decision loss to Paul "Semtex" Daley under the Shark Fights banner, Masvidal (22-6) made a successful Strikeforce debut opposite Billy Evangelista back in March, punching his way to a sweep on the judges' scorecards despite a less-than-enthusiastic response from the Columbus crowd.
The Bellator and Sengoku veteran turned that around and staked his claim to the Melendez throne with his impressive win over K.J. Noons, a former pro boxer, earlier this year.
But was it enough to convince you he can steal the strap? Or is Melendez on another level?