Some things in life are just inevitable. It looks as though the folding of Strikeforce has recently fallen into this category of events.
After losing three of their champions (Nick Diaz, Dan Henderson and Alistair Overeem) to the greener pastures of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), rumblings regarding current Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez following suit have filled up the airwaves and "tweets" for months now.
The timeframe for his alleged departure changed a bit when it was confirmed that "El Nino" would be defending his title against number one contender Jorge Masvidal on Dec. 17 at Strikeforce: "Melendez vs. Masvidal" in San Diego, California.
Melendez's trainer, Cesar Gracie, told Tatame.com that he absolutely believes this will be the champion's final fight under the Strikeforce banner:
"Absolutely. It'll be his last fight (in Strikeforce)", assures the coach, who didn't have any doubts about Melendez's situation on the lightweight division of the UFC, whose current title holder is Frankie Edgar. "I believe Melendez is the best of the world in this division."
Gracie went on to elaborate on Melendez's next fight, a bout which Gracie says he was not in favor of:
"It's a very dangerous fight. Melendez has nothing to win. There's the problem," Cesar said. "I didn't want him to do it. I believe he's gonna win. He's a better fighter, but in any fight, you can either win or lose. It's not different this time. Melendez has everything to lose and nothing to gain. He needs to fight the top fighters. Masvidal sometimes is good, but sometimes he loses to guys nobody knows."
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans have been clamoring for a fight between Melendez and Edgar for some time now. Both fighters have been ranked near the top of their division for at least the last year. Getting them in the cage would settle the matter, once and for all.
The other question would have to be in regard to how this all affects Strikeforce. Could they really afford to lose Melendez? Would it be the final nail in the coffin if he walks?
It looks as though it's going to happen either way. The writing is on the wall.
What say you, Maniacs? Is it a foregone conclusion that Melendez will defeat Masvidal on Dec. 17? How eager are you to see him enter the Octagon versus Edgar to clarify who the number one lightweight in the world is?