(Props: Mad Xyientist)
While cruising MMAMoneyline earlier today, I was rather surprised to see Gilbert Melendez as a solid favorite to beat Mitsuhiro Ishida in their Strikeforce interim lightweight title fight on Saturday. After all, Ishida defeated Melendez by decision at Yarennoka! less than two years ago. It was a very close match — and maybe the decision could have gone the other way if it didn’t take place in Ishida’s home country — but Melendez never really put Ishida in serious danger at any point in the fight (expect for when he slammed Ishida on his head, at the 4:12 mark above), nor could he find many answers for the Endless Fighter’s grappling; Ishida’s aggressive wrestling and nonstop pace was absolutely Guida-esque. On the other hand, they’ll be on Melendez’s home turf for the rematch, and Ishida is coming off a nasty TKO loss to Mizuto Hirota. It’s a pick ‘em, and the winner will take on Josh Thomson…someday. Part one of their first meeting is above, and part two is after the jump.