Gilbert Melendez Still in Strikeforce, Defends Title Against Jorge Masvidal

October 11, 2011
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Gilbert Melendez punishes Tatsuya Kawajiri

If Gilbert Melendez is going to fight UFC champion Frankie Edgar, he’s going to have to earn it with at least one more title defense in Strikeforce.

As announced by the promotion, Strikeforce will indeed keep its lightweight champion as Melendez will face Jorge Masvidal on Dec. 17 to headline the upcoming Strikeforce show in San Diego.

Over the past couple of weeks, it has been discussed that Melendez would make his way to the UFC and compete in its lightweight division, possibly facing the winner of last weekend’s fight between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard.

Well now it appears that Melendez is staying put in Strikeforce for at least one more fight.

Following UFC president Dana White’s announcement about Melendez joining the promotion, Masvidal said that he was assured he would still be fighting for the Strikeforce lightweight title in December.

“The fight’s on,” Masvidal stated. “From what me and my camp understand, the bout’s still on. I just signed bout agreements like two weeks ago.”

Looks like Masvidal was right all along.

The fight between Melendez and Masvidal will headline the upcoming Strikeforce card set for Dec. 17 from California with several other fights also rumored for the card, including the return of top women’s star Gina Carano. will have more details on the Dec. 17 Strikeforce event when it becomes available.

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  • Zuffa must be very confident that Melendez will win. If he doesnt it is a serious blow to them.

  • okaydude

    Gil is good but his competition is not UFC quality. He knows it and that’s why he wants to move to the UFC. He wants to prove he can be the best in the world, the only thing is the road over there is quite a bit tougher and by that I mean a lot tougher. I’d love to see him fight Cowboy, J. Miller, or Stout. I think at least one fight in the UFC before the title shot would be a good idea when they start negotiating again.

    • shakejunt

      forget competition, the guy’s rank gets him a shot.

      I forget who, but someone on here a few weeks ago equated this situation to Kobe Bryant going to play in Italy and if his team were to make him sit on the bench for part of the season just because he hasn’t been in the circuit yet. They nailed the point.

      • illphillip

        That is a moronic comparison. Kobe is taking a step down in competition while Gil is taking a step up.

        So his “rank” against what most would consider “inferior” comp (though Aoki is obviously a Top LW) doesn’t mean much here.

        I also say 1 fight before he gets a shot. Winner of Pettis/Guida.

  • illphillip

    Sorry. I meant just Pettis.
    Winner of Guida/Bendo gets the shot.