Report: Melendez Likely to Defend Belt Against Masvidal in December

Gilbert Melendez. Photo by Esther Lin/

Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will reportedly put his title on the line in an expected showdown against American Top Team product Jorge Masvidal at a yet-to-be-announced Strikeforce event on December 17.

The news comes from, citing sources close to the event. A date and location for the show, which will likely be the organization's last of the year, remain unknown.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker suggested that the matchup would probably take place following Masvidal's three-round destruction of K.J. Noons in June, which was easily the biggest win of his career.

Melendez continues to listen to rumors of an eventual jump to the UFC courtesy of a five-fight win streak, which has saw him avenge previous defeats to Mitsuhiro Ishida and Josh Thomson, soundly defeat Japanese superstar Shinya Aoki, and smash world-ranked foe Tatsuya Kawajiri in his most recent outing.


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