Press Release (Courtesy of Strikeforce)
The Strikeforce world lightweight (155 pound limit) championship showdown between former junior collegiate wrestling standout Clay Guida and undefeated, world-ranked Gilbert Melendez, which took place on June 9, 2006, is available for viewing on Strikeforce’s official website, www.strikeforceusa.net.
StrikeforceUSA.net visitors can watch the classic title matchup free of charge simply by enrolling in Strikeforce’s new, online fan club. The footage is the first to be streamed on the website and will be replaced by a new Strikeforce “Fight of the Month” in 30 days.
The five-round title bout between then-world champion Guida and challenger Melendez was, in the opinion of many, the most memorable battle on Strikeforce’s star-studded “Revenge” card that was headlined by the highly-anticipated rematch between Pride Fighting Championship stars Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort and Alistair Overeem at San Jose, California’s HP Pavilion.
During Strikeforce’s inaugural mixed martial arts event, which hosted a North America record 18,265 fans at the HP Pavilion on March 10, 2006, Guida was crowned the promotion’s first champion after defeating Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Pride veteran, Josh “The Punk” Thomson, in an epic, five-round war.
Following the matchup with Guida, the 25-year-old Melendez was extended the opportunity to showcase his skills in two Pride contests staged in Japan. On August 26th of last year, the American Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu stylist emerged victorious over Nobuhiro Obiya by way of unanimous judges’ decision. During Pride’s “Shockwave 2006″ mega-card at the Saitama Super Arena on New Year’s Eve, he passed his toughest test to date by triumphing over Japanese superstar, Tatsuya Kawajiri.
Melendez, the reigning Strikeforce World Lightweight Champion, is slated to headline the historic, first-ever mixed martial arts event at The Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California on Saturday, September 29th. His opponent on the Strikeforce-promoted bill has yet to be named.
Joining Melendez in the Playboy Mansion event lineup will be Strikeforce World Light Heavyweight (205 pound limit) Champion Bobby Southworth as well as Thomson, who will look to notch his fifth consecutive win in the cage. As many as 12 mixed martial arts bouts will take place during the one-of-a-kind affair that will treat all of its guests to a buffet style, gourmet dinner; top-shelf, open bar; a wine-tasting party featuring the spirits of various gold medal wineries; and the company of various Playboy Playmates, who will be in attendance.
The event at the Playboy Mansion will be staged three months after the Strikeforce co-produced “Shamrock vs. Baroni,” extravaganza, the first mixed martial arts event to be distributed live on SHOWTIME® PPV. Before a crowd of 10,850 at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, former UFC middleweight champion and mixed martial arts legend, Frank Shamrock, became the first Strikeforce middleweight champion in history by choking out UFC and Pride veteran, “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni, in the second round of the star-studded fight card’s main event on Friday, June 22nd.