Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez may not know who he’s fighting next, but he’s got some job security as he has inked a new multi-year deal with the promotion he’s called home for the past several years.
The promotion announced the new deal on Monday.
While terms of the new contract were not announced, Melendez has signed on for a multi-year contract likely similar to that of teammate Nick Diaz who put pen to paper on a new deal just recently as well.
“Strikeforce is my home, they’ve always been like family to me and I’m looking forward to continuing my career with them,” said Melendez about the new deal. “There are a lot of great fights out there for me, lots of challenges. I can’t wait to get back into the cage, do my thing and show the world that I’m still at the top of my game.’’
Melendez has been ouf of action since last April when he put on a dominant performance over Dream lightweight champion Shinya Aoki. Following the win, Melendez took some much needed time off to heal a hurt hand and also witnessed the birth of a child.
Now back to 100% and with a new contract in tow, Melendez will look to keep his reign atop the Strikeforce lightweight division in 2011.
“I’m healthy again and excited about fighting again real soon,’’ Melendez commented. “It doesn’t matter who I fight. I just want to get back in there and rip.’’
Rumors have persisted that Strikeforce has been working to get Dream fighter Tatsuya Kawajiri stateside to challenge Melendez for the belt, but no deal has been signed as of yet to concrete the fight actually happening.
Regardless of his next fight, Melendez now has the perfect incentive to go out there and continue his dominant streak.