Melendez vs. Aoki!!!!

kancho assassin - While i could see Aoki pulling out some insane sub(probably armbar) i really think the odds are in Gil's favor. Better striking, superior wrestling and conditioning. Gil has really been improving more with every outing and i think this win will put him in the top 5 at 155lbs.

I think i would go with this, esp how Gil has shown he he has fought very measured and disciplined in the last few fights.

Aoki's td ability is so underated though (like everyone else about him on the UG). Its such a dam myth that he only pulls guard.

Also, the cage can actually help him in the clinch standing. He was able to tangle up guys like Kikuchi (last guy to beat Jake Shields, TUFers) and JZ from a standing clinch so its not impossible he puts Gil in trouble there esp with a fence and not a ring behind Gil's back.

Thunderlips The Ultimate Male - I don't see Gil getting submitted by Aoki. Has he ever been subbed in an MMA fight? Melendez trains regularly with guys that are as good or better than Aoki anyway and has been for many years. Aoki is going take a long beating in this fight.

Who's "better" than Aoki from guard? And most top guys have been training top level for many years? What does that have to do with anything?

However, obviously the Diaz's bros, who are also great guard players and have the same lanky limbs would help Gil's training. They dont have the exact same style as Aoki though.

Has Gil ever been subbed in MMA? Dont think so, however, no one expected Hansen to be gogo'ed either, no one expected Aoki to dominate JZ, tap Eddie. They were all supposed to be too strong, too good at wrestling, etc etc

I would give Gil a slight edge though for the reasons Kancho stated.

Musashi - I predict Aoki pulls some bullshit.. either avoiding engagement and making for a boring fight or over-exaggerating the effects of a low blow or accidental shot and generally doing ANYTHING to avoid getting his ass kicked once he realizes he can't deal with Gilbert.

lol as expected, you aoki haters better get your excuses prepared.

wtf has aoki EVER avoided engagement? boring fights? Aoki is ALWAYS looking for the finish. People harped on his last Hansen fight but he still got the sub and not just the W.

Gil is awesome but Aoki's dealt with JZ, he' dealt with Alvarez, he's dealt with Hansen, Kikuchi, Shaolin. You can make the arguement that the Gil of now may be better than any of them but its not like this is Rolles Gracie 1.5

I really like Gil btw and think he's looking real good now bt Aoki is also a diff matchu than Thompson or Ishida

But seriously, the UG is prob gonna have to go nuts to explain again if Aoki pulls off yet another win the UG predicted could and would not happen

aoki is up there with randy in proving the odds wrong though randy faced more legit long odds. aoki is only this super underdog in the UG's mind

Btw, winner should def face Kawajiri

Both Gil and KJ have improved from their first outtng that ws pretty split amongst the UG

This is going to be an awesome fight. I have Gil as a favorite but if it goes to the ground Aoki has a definite advantage. However, the wrestling ability is going to be the deciding factor in this fight.. If Aoki can't get it to the ground he loses.

Aoki wins this. Gilbert has been a bit inconsistent over the years. IMO, Aoki is clearly #2 behind BJ. Gilbert IMO, is at the bottom end of the top 10.

It's strange - I like both guys, but the match up doesn't really excite me for some reason. Both guys can be explosive (at least in the grappling department) at time, and both have pretty slick ground skills. The problem is that I really see it degenerating into Melendez taking Aoki down (Aoki may even jump guard - I wouldn't be shocked if he did that), then Aoki attempting subs from the guard with Melendez defending each one well and being pretty cautious.

I really hope they prove me wrong, though.

Tough fight for both guys. It will be interesting if Aoki wins...we would get to see Aoki/Thompson for the title.

 I don't know if Gil is top 10 rankings-wise (who cares), but he's certainly top 10 quality.