Gilbert Melendez throws a right hand at Tatsuya Kawajiri. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
Gilbert Melendez will return to action against Chute Boxe coach Cristiano Marcello at the Strikeforce and EliteXC co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le”, which take place on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
The event features a highly anticipated clash between former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock and undefeated Sanshou kickboxer Cung Le.
The news comes from MMA Weekly, who confirmed the fight with both fighters.
Melendez was originally scheduled to defend his Strikeforce lightweight title against Josh Thompson and then Bodog star Jorge Masvidal but both were forced to pull out because of injury. Marcello will fight for the first time since submitting Hector Munoz in September 2007.
Melendez, a Cesar Gracie product, was originally advertised as competing in the first round of DREAM’s lightweight grand prix later this month but revealed that he has not signed a contract with the promotion and is strictly with Strikeforce as of right now.
“This month, on March 29, I will be doing the EliteXC/Strikeforce show on Showtime,” Melendez said in the report. “I’ve got a commitment with Strikeforce, and I look forward to fighting in the States and getting some respect out here. I think it’s a great opportunity to fight in the Dream tournament. I love fighting in Japan, but right now I have a commitment with Strikeforce. I’m looking to just put my focus on Strikeforce; I’ve got a contract there and want to fulfill it.”