Gilbert Melendez Not Jumping to UFC Ship Yet, Will Face Jorge Masvidal Next

August 12, 2011
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Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez

Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez

Nick Diaz was the first Strikeforce champion after the UFC’s parent company acquired the San Jose, Calif., based promotion to jump ship and make the move to the Octagon. He faces UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 137 on Oct. 29 in Las Vegas.

Speculation has centered on Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson possibly following Diaz’s lead.

Don’t count on Gilbert Melendez – Strikeforce’s lightweight titleholder and current No. 1 ranked lightweight in the world – to be the next champion embroiled in trade rumors.

Melendez’s next bout is set, and it will be in defense of his Strikeforce belt. He will face Jorge Masvidal. A date and venue have yet to be set, but the bout will likely be targeted for November or December.

Although the bout had been rumored for some time, was the first to confirm that Melendez had finally been contacted to secure his title defense. confirmed the fight with independent sources.

Melendez (15-2) was last seen in the cage in April, when he smashed Japanese stalwart Tatsuya Kawajiri just past the midway point of the opening round of their fight. The victory was his fifth consecutive. His hit list also includes the likes of Shinya Aoki, Josh Thomson, and Mitsuhiro Ishida.

Masvidal (22-6) enters the fight on the heels of back-to-back wins. He most recently defeated KJ Noons in June. He would be on a four-fight streak if not for a controversial decision loss to Paul Daley prior to his Strikeforce debut earlier this year.

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  • If Zuffa has any long term plans for SF then guys like Gilbert need to stay where they are. If all the top level talent migrates to the UFC then they need to either kill the promotion all together or drastically downsize and only run the smaller circuit kind of like they do with the Challengers Series or WEC.

  • rezsurfer

    Im so sick of dana white and zuffa acting like the gods of mma.. SF is a very good product, thats why they bought it for the talent they used to laugh and talk down on on tv, behind the scenes they was wanting them. they cant destroy it tell the deal with showtime is over so there going to slowly kill it with taking talent as they do better… Dana said they wont allow any of the UFC fighters to go there and fight. So why bother lying to fans.

  • rezsurfer

    he could send fighters who dont do so well in UFC to SF , but nope he rather fire them. Nate got fired why didnt he drop him to SF and use him still… dana is only out for Zuffa and not the fighters as he claims. Sucks he killed Pride and now SF.. two my favorite shows away from UFC. they was different and exciting in its way. UFC had the top spot quit buying up competition and low ball fighters. sucks.

  • Strikeforce needs to be killed off. What you guys are saying is like “man, the NFL should send some of the good guys to the Arena Football League. That would make things awesome.” No it would suck. We need one main organization, and some regional feeders.

    • shakejunt

      ^ on point

  • afk

    people spend years complaining about how there are too many champions in too many organizations and nobody will co-promote to find out who’s the best.

    THIS is how you do it. in the real world, something a lot of immature mma fans can’t seem to grasp, a company cannot just be bought and gutted in days. contracts and other agreements keep things protected from wrongdoing and further to that ensure that nobody could just come in, buy strikeforce, and then fire everybody working for them. if it were that simple and profitable zuffa WOULD do that.

    the sport is evolving and it’s going to take a few years to get everything under the same roof legally. if you can’t understand that, go watch soccer or something, i’m sure you’ll have better luck following that ball up and down the field.