Behind the Numbers: Strikeforce: 'Gilbert Melendez vs. Jorge Masvidal' fight complete statistical breakdown

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On Sat., Dec. 17, Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez may end up defending his belt for the final time as he takes on number one contender Jorge Masvidal at Strikeforce: "Melendez vs. Masvidal" in San Diego, Calif.

The rumor mills would seem to strongly indicate that Melendez will seek to ink a contract with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), should he be able to successfully defend his title.

The pressure is nothing new for "El Nino." Saturday will mark Melendez's seventh straight title fight.

His opponent, Masvidal, comes into the bout fresh off a dominant decision win over K.J. Noons at Strikeforce: "Overeem vs. Werdum" on June 18 in Dallas, Texas.

After the jump, we'll take a look at the statistical breakdowns of each fighter competing in Saturday night's championship battle:

Melendez and Masvidal share one common opponent in Rodrigo Damm. Melendez was victorious in his bout with Damm, securing a knockout victory. Masvidal, on the other hand, lost to Damm by way of a second round TKO.

CompuStrike took the time to analyze nine of Melendez' bouts, as well as 5 of Masvidal's. Being in the Christmas spirit, they decided to share their findings with you Maniacs.

First, let's examine the overall striking games of both of these explosive lightweights:

Total Strikes:

Melendez -- 104 of 232
Masvidal -- 72 of 129

Percentage:

Melendez -- 45%
Masvidal -- 56%

Total Power Strikes Landed:

Melendez -- 60
Masvidal -- 33

Total Non-Power Strikes Landed:

Melendez -- 44
Masvidal -- 39

Both of these guys throw punches in bunches and plenty of kicks, to boot. Though Masvidal appears to be a bit more accurate, Melendez seems to be a busier overall striker and also a little more frequent with the power shots.

Masvidal has a boxing background. Melendez is more a ground game specialist. You'd expect "Gamebred" to hold the "arm striking" advantage. Let's take a look:

Total Arm Strikes Landed:

Melendez -- 50 of 146
Masvidal -- 29 of 68

Percentage of Arm Strikes Landed:

Melendez -- 34%
Masvidal -- 43%

Power Strikes Landed:

Melendez -- 29
Masvidal -- 10

Non-Power Strikes Landed

Melendez -- 21
Masvidal -- 19

These statistics are very similar to those of the overall striking picture. Again, Masvidal is more precise, but Melendez seems to be more active and causing more damage.

What about kicks and knees? Is it more of the same?

Total Leg Strikes Landed:

Melendez -- 6 of 8
Masvidal -- 10 of 13

Percentage of Leg Strikes Landed:

Melendez -- 65%
Masvidal -- 72%

Power Leg Strikes Landed:

Melendez -- 4
Masvidal -- 5

Non-Power Leg Strikes Landed:

Melendez -- 2
Masvidal -- 5

Very close, but Masvidal wins this leg of the race by a hair.

Melendez has a strong wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) background. You'd think he'd have an overwhelming advantage in this aspect of their games. Do the numbers prove that out?

Ground Strikes Landed:

Melendez -- 48 of 78
Masvidal -- 33 of 48

Percentage:

Melendez -- 62%
Masvidal -- 69%

Power Ground Strikes Landed:

Melendez -- 27
Masvidal -- 18

Non-Power Ground Strikes Landed:

Melendez -- 21
Masvidal -- 15

Takedowns:

Melendez -- 11 of 28 for 39%
Masvidal -- 18 of 23 for 78%

Submission Attempts:

Melendez -- 2
Masvidal -- 5

Dominant Positions:

Melendez -- 4
Masvidal -- 3

Masvidal seems to have had more success in getting his fights to the canvas. However, once the fight gets there, Melendez gets the nod in the amount of damage done and overall dominance.

Do these statistics make you think any differently about this championship showdown? Who do you see taking home the belt after it's all said and done?

Input, please!

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