Strikeforce have moved to clear up confusion over their lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez immediate future by confirming that he will be defending his title against Jorge Masvidal on December 17th.
“Sorry to keep you waiting folks! @GilbertMelendez WILL be defending his title vs @GamebredFighter in San Diego on Dec. 17. Tix on sale Sat!” Strikeforce confirmed on their Twitter account last night.
That means that UFC president Dana White’s plans to bring Melendez over to the UFC will have to be put on ice for the time being, and more than likely will result in the winner of November’s Ben Henderson Vs Clay Guida fight at ‘UFC On Fox 1’ establishing the next No.1 contender for Frankie Edgar’s title.
I think it’s a sensible decision. There’s no need to rush Melendez over when Edgar still has quality opponents to contend with at 155lbs in the short term over in the UFC, and meanwhile Melendez Vs Masvidal is a good stylistic match-up and one that I’m looking forward to seeing over in Strikeforce.
It is tough on Melendez though who’s made it clear that he has his heart set on a move to the UFC, but there’s still enough time left for him to regroup and refocus on Masvidal with the knowledge that it’s only a matter of time before he does eventually step into the Octagon.