Strikeforce Champ Gilbert Melendez UFC Bound… ASAP

October 2, 2011

If there was any doubt that Strikeforce is in the depths of a vicious downward spiral, UFC president Dana White put any doubts to rest following UFC on Versus 6 on Saturday night in Washington, D.C.

White told MMAWeekly.com that the UFC is working on a deal with current Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez to bring the No. 1 155-pound fighter in the world to the Octagon.

While the deal isn’t inked yet, he was emphatic in saying that Melendez is headed to the UFC.

“We do want to bring Gilbert Melendez over and we’re looking at it right now,” said White.

Melendez had been expected to defend his Strikeforce belt against Jorge Masvidal at a possible December event, but that would be off the table once a deal is struck with the UFC.

Despite holding the belt in that organization, which the UFC’s parent company also owns, it is not a certainty that Melendez would get an immediate shot at UFC gold.

“It’s a possibility,” stated White. “The thing is, that division is so stacked. And usually timing has a lot to do with (who gets the next shot).”

But as certain as Strikeforce’s days a major MMA player are numbered, so is Melendez’s time there, according to White.

“We’re going to bring Melendez over ASAP. We’re looking to bring him over now.”

(Reporting by Damon Martin)


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