Many fans weren’t too thrilled when Strikeforce initially announced the trilogy between Gilbert Melendez (Pictured) and Josh Thomson because the reigning champion had posted such a lopsided victory in their rematch.
Most wondered what the point would be in watching Part III when it would be an exact replay of the sequel?
Well, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker proved the naysayers wrong on Saturday night – actually Thomson and Melendez did by hosting a thrilling back-and-forth battle. However, with each fighter holding a win over the other, their rubber match failed to provide the definitive ending that everyone had expected.
When the dust settled from their 25-minute shootout, Melendez managed to retain his title with a highly controversial (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) split decision victory.
“Even if I win, you lose, unless you finish him or do it in spectacular fashion,” Melendez expressed. “I couldn’t really unleash the beast tonight. I just kind of felt like I was in control.
“I got the job done. I was cruising it.”
Although Melendez said during his in-cage post-fight interview he would be willing to grant his former training partner a fourth dance, he quickly changed his turn at the post-fight press conference.
Coker promptly echoed the sentiment and claimed it was time to close to book on Melendez vs. Thomson.
“The trilogy is done and we’ll go from there,” Coker stated.
No word on who might be next on “El Niño’s” radar.