by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
On Saturday, Shinya Aoki made the impromptu announcement following his submission win over Tatsuya Kawajiri, that he would be facing Gilbert Melendez at Dream 16 in September. Apparently, Aoki forgot to check with Gilbert Melendez on that whole idea.
Speaking with MMAWeekly.com via text message on Monday, Strikeforce official Mike Afromowitz shot down the possible match-up, as Melendez doesn’t expect to return till later this year.
“No chance,” Afromowitz answered about a September fight for Melendez and Aoki. “He won’t be back till later in the fall.”
Following his lopsided drubbing of Aoki in April, Melendez had said numerous times that he planned on taking some much needed time off to let his body heal, and was expecting a baby as well.
“I want my baby to come, I want to be able to take care of her, and spend some time with her, and help my girl out as well. So maybe towards the end of the year I’m thinking about fighting,” Melendez told MMAWeekly Radio after the fight with Aoki in April. “I’m going to have to talk to Scott Coker, see what he thinks, but yeah I want to spend some time with my family, get rested up.”
Melendez was originally rumored to come back around December, possibly as a part of a year end show, and while numerous match-ups have appeared, many want to see him square off against Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.
While Aoki looked back to form submitting Kawajiri in the opening seconds of their fight in Japan, it can’t be ignored that he lost a very one-sided decision to Melendez just a few short months ago. Melendez punished Aoki on the feet, and on the ground, when submission wizard was not able to do much of anything to the Strikeforce lightweight champion.
MMAWeekly.com will have more information on Gilbert Melendez’s actual return to action when it becomes available.