I've eaten my words before, and have no shame in doing so. Mock me all you want as long as it's with reason. Lombard? He came from the outside with a huge chip on his shoulder and barely scraped through against Tim Boetsch, who is average at best, but the only reason he's on top right now is because that division is thin as fuck.
That's what I think'll happen to Melendez when he comes into the UFC. He'll come in against a guy like Pettis or Cerrone. Lose. And then get stuck in between the Top 20- Top 10 range in the Lightweight division. It's what happened to Jake Shields, it's what happened to Herman and Barboza, and it's whats going to happen to Melendez.
Don't mind me. I just love when hype trains are derailed and peoples hearts are broken. That has a risk as they actually have a chance to be successful, like my own boy Jon Jones before he absolutely obliterated Shogun, but I'm confident that Melendez will be a nobody in the UFC.
Pettis/Cerrone are like 1 fight away from a title shot. they're both hovering around the top 5 depending on who's rankings you go by. Its hard to come into the UFC and compete at the top straight away. You mention Jones/Shogun, he had 7 fights in the UFC before that fight. He started off against scrubs, and slowly worked his way up the card. He was successful before the Shogun fight, irrespective of whether he had won the title there.
Its different for guys who are established in other promotions and have some hype about them. Lombard hasn't had to be tested in the cage for awhile, he should've had a gimme fight first up to get the nerves, adrenaline of the first UFC fight out of the way before moving up the card. Also Herman and Barboza? cmon son, neither had a HUGE hype train behind them.
Jake Shields in the UFC has gone alright. He lost to GSP (no shame in that) and he got knocked out early against Ellenberger who is a legit top 10 guy. Thats it, he got a bit of a dodgy decision vs Kampmann who is also legit, and he beat Akiyama and Herman (which got overturned later). A lot of his hype was generated off the back of dominating Henderson in Strikeforce, which is deserving of getting hype.
I'm not saying Melendez will come into the UFC and win the belt. I'm not saying he's going to be amazing and beat everyone. I'm saying he will be a top fighter, around the ilk of Pettis, Cerrone, and Maynard. Winning and losing around the top guys.