Gilbert Melendez is in MMA purgatory.

Stranded in Strikeforce with no leap to the UFC in sight, Melendez looks to be the odd man out, and it really isn’t fair. Though Melendez says all the right things and continues to say he’s happy with Strikeforce and Showtime, we all know what he really wants.

Melendez wants nothing more than to be in the UFC with the best fighters in the world, and quite frankly, he deserves to be there. It’s not fair for the UFC to strip Strikeforce of its best fighters but leave the most talented guy on the roster with the company.

After concluding his trilogy with Josh Thomson last month, Melendez is running out of opponents that he won’t tear from pillar to post. But yet, Melendez still remains happy with Strikeforce, or so he puts on.

What’s really going on in his head, though? Could he possibly be content fighting in a “B” organization with other “B” level athletes? Though he’s been highly respectable, and furthermore commendable, for staying the course and not complaining, Melendez has to be burning alive inside.

His frustration level has to be at an all-time high, because he’s not getting to prove how good he really is. No one would argue against him being recognized as one of the best lightweights in the world, but then again, do we really know that?

Sure, he’s looked phenomenal and he’s beaten the likes of Thomson and Shinya Aoki, but who else has he beaten that would be a top-15 ranked lightweight in the UFC? And as for Aoki, isn’t he the guy that lost badly to Eddie Alvarez nearly two months ago?

The bottom line is that Melendez’s reputation and legacy are on the line, and though it’s easy to see that he’s one of the best lightweights in the world, he has yet to really prove it. And that’s not Melendez’s fault.

Fans need to see Melendez going against the Benson Henderson’s, Anthony Pettis’ and Frankie Edgar’s of the world, not the Pat Healy’s and Mizuto Hirota’s. Fans want to see him matched up against the UFC’s elite, and for a company that prides itself on giving fans what they want, it’s mind-boggling that Zuffa refuses to make these match-ups.

Melendez is in the prime of his career and he can hang with the big boys, so it’s time the UFC steps up and does what’s right. And what’s right is bringing one of the most talented fighters in the world to the big dance.

Photo: Gilbert Melendez (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

About The Author

Jake Martin

Jake attends Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., where he studies Mass Communication in print and public relations. He is also the sports editor of his school newspaper, The Nicholls Worth. Jake works at the Concordia Sentinel in Ferriday, La. during the summer.

  • Mehmet Kenan Sınav

    Its pretty good and true article.