Gilbert Melendez seemed a little uninterested in his third fight with Josh Thomson for the Strikeforce lightweight title Saturday night in the co-main event of Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier. “El Nino” was awarded a split decision, much to the disappointment of the San Jose crowd.
Melendez confirmed in the post-fight interview that he felt like he was in a no-win situation with Thomson, as he entered the heavy favorite.
“It’s just not as motivating,” Melendez said. “I have everything to lose, and he has everything to gain. I’m in a lose-lose situation. Even though I won, I lost.”
Many felt like Melendez could receive a shot against a member of the UFC’s stacked lightweight lineup. Instead, he was paired with Thomson for a third time. “The Punk” was the last fighter to defeat Melendez.
“We know each other real well,” Melendez said. “He’s a tough guy. I thought I won most of the rounds. It wasn’t my best performance, but I got a win.”
Thomson asked the crowd if they wanted a fourth fight, which came to a loud ovation from those inside the arena. Melendez landed 120 strikes to 90 by Thomson, including 40 power strikes to just 19.
“He fought a great fight,” Thomson said. “Tonight wasn’t my night, hats off to him.”