Strikeforce Confirms Gilbert Melendez vs. Jorge Masvidal for Dec. 17th
By FCF Staff
After weeks of speculation as to whether Gilbert Melendez would compete for Strikeforce or the UFC next, the former has announced this afternoon that indeed the lightweight champion will fight Jorge Masvidal on December 17th.
The lightweight title fight will be hosted by San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center and will be broadcast on Showtime.
Melendez (19-2) heads into his latest title defense having won five straight fights. The Cesar Gracie fighter hasn’t competed since April, when he overwhelmed Tatsuya Kawajiri for the first round stoppage.
UFC President Dana White has spoken publicly as of late about his desire to bring Melendez over from Strikeforce, after several other of the promotion’s stars have left Strikeforce for the fellow Zuffa property.
Masvidal (22-6) is coming off an impressive unanimous decision win over KJ Noons in June, after scoring a UD win over Billy Evangelista in March. The American Top Team fighter is 3-2 in his last 5 bouts, with his last defeat coming by decision to Paul Daley last September.
The upcoming December 17th card will also feature Strikeforce women’s 145lb. champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos versus Hiroko Yamanaka and former light—heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi versus Ovince St. Preux.