After weeks of uncertainty, Strikeforce announced today that one of their last remaining champions, Gilbert Melendez, will be hanging around their promotion for at least one more title defense, a December tilt against Jorge Masvidal.
Following UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar’s recent title defense against Gray Maynard, the call for Melendez to come to the UFC and fight for the belt grew ever louder, prompting UFC Dana White to seemingly do his best to get El Niño Octagon-side. Melendez will almost surely make his way to the UFC’s lightweight division before too long, but not before 2012, as it was beginning to look.
The Cesar Gracie-trained fighter is considered to be one of the top lightweights in the world and certainly the best who’s competing outside of the UFC (with possible exception to Eddie Alvarez). He sports a 19-2 record and has shown marked improvement in each of his recent appearances.
26-year-old Jorge Masvidal is a rising star from the American Top Team camp in Coconut Creek, Florida who earned his shot at Melendez’s title by taking out Billy Evangelista and KJ Noons in consecutive bouts.
Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal will take place on December 17 at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California.
Looks like Frankie Edgar will be meeting the winner of the upcoming Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida bout after all.