May 19, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Gilbert Melendez (right) fights Josh Thomson (left) during the lightweight bout of the Strikeforce World Grand Prix at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
So, who's ready for another round of Josh Thomson vs. Gilbert Melendez?
"The Punk" is ready for another six, actually, disappointed that his "epic trilogy" against "El Nino" ended in a controversial split decision loss last Saturday night (May 19, 2012) in the co-main event of Strikeforce: "Barnett vs. Cormier" at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
But do the fans want to see it?
In victory, Melendez will likely move on to defend his 155-pound strap against rugged lightweight veteran Pat Healy, while Thomson gets his injuries checked out before getting back into training. Still, it hasn't stopped him from wondering aloud how his longtime nemesis can consider himself the division's best with such a hotly-contested decision lingering on his resume.
Those comments (via Bloody Elbow) after the jump.
"I was just looking on Yahoo, and there's a story there about our 'epic trilogy' not being settled, and I think that just says it all. The question shouldn't be asked of me, but should be asked of him. How can you consider yourself one of the best and leave something so controversial like this? The first thing people ask him is are we going to see a fourth fight. I know I don't want to leave it like this, but maybe it's easier said than done. The judges went his way that night. All three fights were great. I mean, we watch thousands of fights, and only a handful of them are great. We have the opportunity here to put on a fourth one, where it will probably end living up to the hype of the first three. There's some unsettled business, and we should just get it all out in the open. Let's add a round. Let's do six rounds. We could do it like the ultimate fighter, and go to an extra round if it's necessary. If you have a split decision coming out of the fifth round, that extra round let's it all get figured out. Something along those lines would be great. I think the very last straw that broke the camel's back is the judge that gave him the first round. I think they scored it for him because it was too close, and he's the champ, so they gave it to him. The champ comes in with that aura. He's the last one to get introduced, and his dad is running around the cage with the belt. Judges look at that. They remember that. So, when the first round is close, they're like, 'We'll just give it the champ.' I think that's why he won. It wasn't anything he did in the cage, that's for sure. Without a shadow of a doubt, I thought I won."
Thomson defeated Melendez in their first encounter at Strikeforce: "Melendez vs. Thomson" in 2008. "El Nino" would successfully defend his belt in their 2009 rematch and temporarily settle the score with his second straight win over "The Punk" last weekend.
It was the fourth time Melendez has gone to the judges' scorecards in his past five fights.
So how about it fight fans? Are you ready to see these two mix it up once again? Or is it time to (finally) put this rivalry out to pasture and see what they can do inside the Octagon?