Continually underrated Strikeforce lightweight Jorge Masvidal has the chance to play spoiler this weekend to Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez’s UFC dreams.
Though it was announced yesterday that Melendez will be staying in Strikeforce to defend his title, El Niño has made it well known that he wants nothing more than to test himself in the UFC. Should he lose to Masvidal on Saturday, that goal will be prolonged indefinitely, though almost no one is predicting that outcome. And that’s just as well for Masvidal, who believes the lopsided betting lines will see his friends and family clean up.
“I’m happy they have me as the underdog, I’ve got a lot of friends and family that are gonna make a lot of money,” he recently told FightHubTV.
In Melendez, Masvidal appears to be facing a more stout grappler with the transitional ability to put him in trouble, but he told FightHubTV that he actually counts himself the better wrestler between himself and Melendez.
“If I couldn’t wrestle, I wouldn’t be able to win this fight,” said Masvidal. “I wouldn’t be able to win this fight off my back, you know? Gil has good submission defense and I if was just to be on bottom, I would lose the fight. I think I’m a better wrestler than him. Actually, I know and I’m gonna prove it on Saturday night that even if it was straight wrestling, I’d beat him in that, too.”
Though many think Melendez might get himself into trouble by focusing more on a possible UFC future than the opponent directly in his path, Masvidal believes the champ will balance the pressure just fine, but will lose this fight anyway based on the fact that Masvidal is simply the better fighter.
“He definitely has a lot of pressure on his shoulders,” he said. “I think he’ll deal well with the pressure, but what he’s not gonna deal well with is me in his face.”
Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal goes down tomorrow night, December 17, at the Valley View Casino in San Diego, California.