Friday, June 27, 2008

Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson - short preview

I'm interested in this event almost solely because of the main event, in which Gilbert Melendez defends his Strikeforce lightweight belt against Josh Thomson. There are some other okay fights on the card but only one great. One of the better fights has been canceled due to Joe Riggs not getting his license to fight. Riggs was supposed to face Luke Stewart who is a good grappler and up-and-comer at least in the regional Californian scene. Bobby Southworth, probably best known for being on the first season of the Ultimate Fighter, will fight Anthony Ruiz for the Strikeforce light heavyweight title, not very exciting in my opinion. I find the bout between Nam Phan and Billy Evangelista to be a bit more interesting. Both fighters have pretty good records, 14-4 and 6-0 respectively, and will probably put on an competitive fight. Also on this card is the "new Cung Le", Ray Daniels. I hadn't heard of him prior to this match and this is his MMA debut. He comes from a karate background and is supposed to have a flamboyant style. Even though i don't know much about his opponent, Jeremiah Metcalf, he has some submission wins on his record. The ground game is usually the traditional martial artists' cryptonite. Maybe we'll see a flashy K.O. from Daniels or maybe he'll get caught in a submission, either way I expect it to end in the first round.

Now back to the main event. Melendez-Thomson is a quality lightweight fight. Melendez is one of the most frenetic fighters I've seen, he pushes forward non-stop. Thomson is also very skilled and well-rounded. An interesting fact is that these two have trained together pretty much, sometimes up to three times a week. They are still very respectable towards each other, so it's no grudge match, which is fine by me. I think Melendez will win this one, he is just too much to handle for most opponents. Thomson's chance is to out-wrestle Melendez and put him on his back. Melendez has said that he might possibly make 145 lb again, he fought at 143 lb in Shooto, which would open up for a dream match against Urijah Faber. That fight would possibly be the best fight ever.

Ray Daniels karate highlight:

1 comment:

Samu said...

I read a post on sherdog a while ago where somebody linked a ray highlight vid and was hyping him. It would be pretty cool and unexpected if he could keep on showing off like that and still win against an average MMA guy. That black "machine gun" karate man (can't remember his name) didn't do so good in elite XC or whatever it was a while ago. The fighting stance in their karate competitions looks so weird when they've got their arms down like that.