Originally Posted by Shoegazer
I dunno...I can see Aoki submitting many aggressive wrestlers. I think it takes a pretty complete game of wrestling and striking to fight him off for 3+ rounds.
I'm certainly not convinced by the Melendez fight that Aoki is not a top 10 lightweight, especially in light of his last win. Yes, Melendez easily won each and every round, but Melendez was also nowhere near ending the fight. And yeah, he jumped into Aoki's guard several times and hit him in the face, but he was playing it moderately safe each time - fighting to outscore, first and foremost. Aoki looked lost to me for most of that fight, sorta like most japanese fighters look their first time in a cage. Credit Melendez for sure, it was great gameplan and Melendez had the rounded skills and discipline to pull it off. But I didn't see anything that made me think Aoki was necessarily out of his league. I think he now knows the power and speed of the american fighters, as well as their defensive use of wrestling, and will adjust accordingly. I have a hunch he shocks Melendez should they meet again.
Seriously though, I just can't imagine why Melendez would even want a rematch unless it was worth a LOT of money
Even if Aoki beats Melendez. Melendez is still at best the #5 LW in the USA behind Edgar, Penn, Florian, and Maynard. I think guys like Heurta, Guida, Diego Sanchez, and Sotiropolis would all be pick 'ems vs Melendez.