After opening his career with 13 straight victories, lightweight Gilbert Melendez (14-2) has struggled recently. A unanimous decision loss to new Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson in June was Melendez's second loss in three bouts.LINK
gilbert is a bit overated.....other than kawijiri, all his wins have been b level fighters...i think tho he has a ton of potential and will be a solified top 10 , but thompson just has his number
Melendez is a relentless pressure fighter. His problem in that fight was that he had no answer for the distance that Josh created with his straight front kick that basically was used as a jab. As you know a jab is what you use with a pressure fighter and effectively he used the front kick as jab. I wouldn't even call it a muy thai push kick, it was just a jab to the body. Then Josh would reset, and move laterally away. Melendez likes to move in, set, then fire. I'm not sure how he fights this different, but he definitely has to close the distance quicker. He can't change his style since that is what he does, he comes forward but he should come in behind a front kick, low leg kick or a jab. He often just comes in and throws lead rights. That doesn't close distance well enough on Josh.
It'll be interesting. I REALLY liked their first fight. Josh was really getting tired at the end there and had it gone any longer, he looked like he might get caught.
I thought Thomson was stylistically one of the hardest fights for Melendez in the 155 lb. division and I don't know how Melendez is going to beat him if he can't get past that front kick and not to mention it looked like Thomson was just naturally the bigger fighter with better wrestling.
You are right come to think of it. Josh looked a LOT bigger than 155.