In one of the most intriguing lightweight match-ups in recent memory outside of the UFC, Strikeforce world lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (14-1) will be taking on longtime friend and training partner Josh Thomson (14-2). Melendez thinks it will be a battle for the ages.
"El Niño" previewed the upcoming bout on a recent edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"We've trained together, we've banged together, and I think it's going to be one for the history books," Melendez said.
Melendez and Thomson's well-documented friendship is still firmly intact. There is no manufactured hype or drama between the two. Instead, two of the lightweight division's most exciting fighters will meet in a match-up of well-rounded combatants.
"One thing about Josh and I that is different than a lot of MMA fighters is that we are real MMA fighters," the 26-year-old said. "We're well-rounded. We're willing to stand, we're willing to wrestle, and we're willing to do jiu-jitsu. But we're at our best when we can do MMA -- do all the transitions, do everything. So it makes for a really good match-up, a really good scrap."
The California-based Strikeforce organization has found success in promoting shows that cash in on local story lines. Earlier this year, fans were treated to an exciting clash between local residents Cung Le and Frank Shamrock in a bout billed as "The Battle for San Jose." Melendez believes this fight may turn out even better.
"Frank and Cung Le are big names in the Bay area, and they put on a great show," Melendez said. "But I think Josh and I have been around for a while. We're top level. And it's going to make for a great fight."Link