With long-time Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez strutting into the Octagon in an attempt to unify the Strikeforce and UFC lightweight titles into one, uber-title, I think it’s best we look at the last time Gilbert fought a world-class opponent that was supposed to take his title away.
I’m posting this video for one reason: I think Benson matches up with Gilbert very well on the feet, but if Frankie Edgar can take down Benson almost at will, I think Gilbert can as well.
The big question is: will Gilbert be able to hold him down and rain elbows like he did here with Kawijiri? Benson is a huge lightweight. He even mentioned in passing that he would move up in weight to fight GSP if the UFC approved the fight, but Melendez has reportedly put on weight as well to match up with the physicality of Benson. But if Gilbert goes hog-wild with the elbows and attempts to overwhelm Benson, which he should, this could be a great night for the Cesar Gracie fight team.
Gil has Nate to take him to school about Benson and his fight style, and we saw how close Frankie made the fights. If Gilbert pressures Bendo, he can win, and he needs to follow the Kawijiri gameplan to do it.