Originally written on 5thRound.com  |  Last updated 10/21/14
After 17 UFC fights, Nate Diaz (Pictured) finally got to taste a championship fight. Although Diaz came up short in Saturday’s title bout against reigning lightweight champ Benson Henderson, he believes his Gracie Jiu Jitsu homie and current Strikeforce 155-pound king Gilbert Melendez would take it to “Smooth” and likely take his belt in the process. “[Gilbert's] got the most perfect record, beat all the best guys, and I think that he’s the next guy in line,” Diaz stated at the post-fight press conference. “It’s not my call, but if not, he’s coming for him. Watch out.” Of course, there’s the minor formality of Melendez’s current employer closing its doors after their January 12th show. However, Strikeforce’s finale is all but a done deal – at least if you were to believe the trusty rumor mill. Perhaps the biggest concern currently surrounding “El Nino” is the condition of the injured shoulder that has forced him out of two consecutive title defenses. Boasting a dominant 21-2 professional record, Melendez has long been considered the baddest lightweight not competing in the UFC. The 30-year-old hasn’t been seen since beating Josh Thomson in May. As far as who Henderson believes should get next dibs at his crown, he couldn’t care less. Like a true toothpick-chewing champion, he lives by the, “Anywhere, any place, anytime” mentality.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mich. St. upset with Michigan over spear planted on field

TCU puts up 82 points in win over Texas Tech

Agent: Joe Maddon prepared to sit out season if need be

Report: Chandler Jones could miss rest of season

Report: Army football enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Report: Kobe viewed Dwight Howard's departure as 'positive'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lions suspend CJ Mosley, send him home from London

Federal judge blocks New Jersey sports betting law

Report: Bucs sign Gerald McCoy to seven-year extension

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans about booing

Report: Shonn Greene arrested after parking in handicap spot

Report: Joe Maddon wants a very hefty salary

Miss. St. returns onside kick for TD in win over Kentucky

Couple dresses up in Ray Rice Blackface Halloween costume

WATCH: Kentucky DB Blake McClain lays out Miss. St. WR

WATCH: Dwyane Wade videobombs himself

GRAPHIC: Cam Atkinson shows how close he was to losing eye

WATCH: 350-pound Arkansas lineman throws TD pass

Penn State fans blew air horns outside Ohio State's hotel?

WATCH: Oregon's Charles Nelson has impressive punt return TD

WATCH: American flag rips during Game 3 national anthem

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

Eight NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

MMA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Couple in Ray Rice Blackface costume

Report: Army enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Penn State fans blew air horn at Ohio State players' hotel?

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.