Melendez to Defend Against Lemley

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Gilbert Melendez will put his Strikeforce world lightweight title on the line against Gabe Lemley at the upcoming Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le”, which take place on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

The promotion officially announced the bout earlier today.

It was originally reported that Melendez, who has been advertised as competing in DREAM’s upcoming lightweight grand prix, would not be fighting overseas and would in fact defend his Strikeforce lightweight title against Chute Boxe coach Cristiano Marcello instead. The news came from the mouth of Marcello himself.

However our friends at MMA Junkie reported yesterday, through Strikeforce vice-president Mike Afromowitz, that the fight was never signed and an official opponent for Melendez would be named shortly.

Melendez was originally scheduled to defend his title against Josh Thompson and then Bodog star Jorge Masvidal but both were forced to pull out because of injury.

Lemley, who holds a second-degree black belt in Okinawan style Karate, is currently riding a five-fight winning streak and has won ten of his last twelve bouts. The Iowa native submitted Clay Guida with an armbar in October 2004.


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