10 Thoughts on Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal

1. Shawn M. Smith – KJ Noons reacted well to his very first two-fight losing streak. In fact, he looked like a man determined not to come out and stink the joint up, but something was missing. Gone was the boxing-focused fighter that we’d all come to know. After being torn up by Jorge Masvidal, he obviously needed to expand his repertoire, which he did tonight. You could say that he came through in the clutch, but really, it was a matter of Billy Evangelista having no answers. Honestly, histrionics aside, Noons looked sharper and deserved this win.

2. Shawn M. Smith – Cris Cyborg scares me. The ref could have ended that fight sooner and no one would have been upset. Also, as a sign that the UFC announcers “get it” when Ranallo and Co. don’t? They said the stoppage was premature. Seriously? Look at Hiroko Yamanaka’s face. She was relieved not to die.

3. Chris Roberts – Now that Gilbert Melendez is Strikeforce’s crown jewel/indentured servant his need to win this fight was certainly not as pointed as it was a month ago when he thought he was on the verge of a UFC title shot. Still he came out and proved why he is a top 10 pound for pound guy dominating Jorge Masvidal winning every round except for one on one judge’s scorecard.

4. Shawn M. Smith – Good fight by Melendez in the main event. I wouldn’t expect anything less from him. He’s one of the best in the world and what I really think he needs is more competition. He made a good striker in Jorge Masvidal looks like an amateur. That stunk. I had Masvidal winning here at the Inside Fights HQ betting pool, despite what I said on our show on Wednesday.

5. Chris Roberts – Then in an act of sheer futility he stopped his shameless corporate shilling to invite the UFC champ to step into his hexagon and defend his title. I’m all for more MMA on TV and so keeping Strikeforce alive isn’t the worst thing ever but if this kind of ugly confusion is going to be the by product of it all then things could get real knotty around here rather quickly.

6. Shawn M. Smith– Agreed, stupid move for Gil to call out UFC lightweights. Sure, the division might be stacked around the world, but do you really think that beating on the scraps of the UFC would make you look good? Defend your “hexagon” and enjoy your money. You’re the one who signed up for this new deal.

7. Chris Roberts – The show itself did probably leave a little to be desired as the four fight main card saw 3 blow outs and only one finish. The finish, a 16 second dish of humiliation served up by Cris Cyborg was a dubious one but my feeling is if we have to hope for a late-ish referee stoppage in the name of entertainment then we probably aren’t watching a great show.

8. Chris Roberts – Interesting news coming out of the prelims was the fact that rising star Justin Wilcox also suffered a lightning fast stoppage, this one at the hands of Caros Fodor in the span of only 13 seconds. Of course this is supposedly the last card we will have to watch without access to the prelims as starting with the card in 3 weeks they will all be broadcast on Showtime Extreme.

9. Shawn M. Smith – Gegard Mousasi. Gegard Mousasi. If the announcers weren’t screwing up the pronunciation of Ovince St. Preux’s name (no matter how hard you try, he won’t suddenly becoming Georges St-Pierre even if you want it), there wasn’t much to see. It wasn’t bad, but save for the occasional Strikeforce Challengers card, we had no reason to say that we had seen the best from OSP. He has high potential if he can get his kickboxing in line with his wrestling and increases his striking overall, now that I think about it – he just needs to improve, he’ll be better. For now, keep him on Showtime’s smaller shows and get him ready for Primetime.

10. Chris Roberts – If calling Ovince St. Preux wasn’t inherently lame enough we were treated to first hand examples of why it is just an all around bad idea. One multiple occasions the announce team tripped over their words referring to him as either “GSP” or “St. Pierre.” Plus all the references to one of our greatest fighters was hardly enough to prevent Gegard Mousasi from mauling him here tonight.


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