When Strikeforce officially ceases operations, Gilbert Melendez (21-2) doesn’t appear to have to wait for a title shot. UFC president Dana White told reporters at the UFC 155 press conference that Melendez might compete for the lightweight title in his first outing.
“It will probably come right away,” said White. “We’ll see.”
Melendez has been a part of Strikeforce since their first show in 2006. His overall record for them is 11-1. He is the current and a two time Strikeforce lightweight champion. He holds records for the promotion that include most wins, most title fights at 10 and most successful title defenses at six.
Earlier this month at UFC on FOX, UFC’s lightweight champion Benson Henderson (18-2) defeated Melendez’s training partner Nate Diaz (16-8) via unanimous. Since Henderson retained his title against Diaz, the UFC has not mentioned who would be next to challenge.
Melendez was supposed to fight on Strikeforce’s September card, but pulled out with a knee injury. That championship fight with Pat Healy (28-16) was rescheduled to the final January card though it was scratched as Melendez was still injured.