The proposed rematch between Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez and Dream champion Shinya Aoki will not happen on New Year’s Eve in Japan as originally rumored.
Strikeforce officials confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that the fight was now off the table after speculation ran wild since September that the two lightweights would meet again, with the fight in Japan this time.
Melendez defeated Aoki in April by unanimous decision, after dominating the Dream champion for the better part of 25 minutes.
Since that time, Aoki has fought three times, picking up wins in each including a devastating submission win over Tatsuya Kawajiri in July.
Melendez took time off following the fight with Aoki to welcome a new baby, and let his body rest after a very active close to 2009 and first half of 2010.
The card on New Year’s Eve in Japan is still expected to see Shinya Aoki make an appearance, although no opponents have been named or even rumored at this point.
As for the Strikeforce lightweight champion, it appears Melendez will wait until the first part of 2011 to return to action, and possibly a third fight against friend and rival Josh Thomson looming in the shadows.