Melendez, Strikeforce Agree to New Multi-Year Deal


Gilbert Melendez. Photo by Esther Lin/AllElbows.com.

Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez signed a new, multi-year agreement with the San Jose-based promotion on Monday.

"Strikeforce is my home, they've always been like family to me and I'm looking forward to continuing my career with them," Melendez said in a release. "There are a lot of great fights out there for me - lots of challenges. I can't wait to get back into the cage, do my thing and show the world that I'm still at the top of my game.''

Melendez last fought in April of last year, grinding out an unanimous decision over Japanese standout Shinya Aoki in one of his biggest career wins.

The 28-year-old, who owns career victories over the likes of Josh Thomson, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Clay Guida among others, has been on the sidelines after recovering from a broken hand suffered in the win over Aoki as well as celebrating the birth of his daughter in August.

"I'm healthy again and excited about fighting again real soon,'' said Melendez. "It doesn't matter who I fight. I just want to get back in there and rip.''

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