A weekend without a UFC event seems a bit weird now huh? Well, we still have some great MMA action in store as the Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal card takes place tomorrow night in San Diego, California. It’s actually a pretty good card on paper as we get to see one of the best lightweights in the world in Gilbert Melendez as he defends his Strikeforce lightweight title. Also, the best female fighter on the planet returns to action after over a year away from the cage in Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos as she defends her Strikeforce featherweight title. Also, MMA veteran Gegard Mousasi will take on up and comer Ovince St. Preux in a light heavyweight matchup. Let’s get to some interesting storylines heading into this event.
- Will Gilbert Melendez’s performance on Saturday stir up more talk about him belonging in the UFC?
Melendez has long been thought to be one of the best lightweights in the world since becoming the Strikeforce lightweight champion. He’s one of two Strikeforce champions that have yet to be moved over to the UFC since the promotion was purchased by Zuffa. He’s facing a very tough and underrated fighter in Jorge Masvidal on Saturday night. In a conference call earlier this week, it was indicated that there would be some Strikeforce vs. UFC fights that will take place in the future. So will Melendez spark more talk of him belonging in the UFC or will Masvidal pull off the upset?
- Will the long layoff hurt Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos on Saturday night?
It will be almost a year and a half since Santos was last seen in action inside the cage pounding out Jan Finney in June of last year. She’ll return to face highly ranked Japanese fighter Hiroko Yamanaka who’s been much busier than Santos as of late. Yamanaka has had three fights since Santos last fought and it’ll be interesting to see how Santos performs. Will she be able to control her excitement and cardio levels if the fight goes back the first round or so?
- Will Ovince St. Preux prove he belongs against MMA veteran Gegard Mousasi on Saturday night?
A lot of people think Mousasi is one of the best light heavyweights in the world. I think he’s given a lot of credit for his performances in the past as a middleweight(where he should still be fighting in my opinion). He’ll be facing Ovince St. Preux on Saturday night who has won his last eight fights in a row. St. Preux has faced dangerous strikers in the past and fared well against them, so it’ll be interesting to see how he deals with Mousasi. OSP does have some wrestling ability, and Mousasi has been prone to takedowns in the past so keep an eye out to see how OSP’s gameplan unfolds. He asked for this fight so he must be confident that he has the skills to beat Mousasi.