A major lightweight match-up between two of the world’s top 10 lightweights – Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez and Bellator champ Eddie Alvarez could soon become a reality.
The idea initially stems from Melendez who is keen to test himself against more quality opposition having defeated DREAM’s lightweight champion Shinya Aoki last month.
“I think he’s an amazing fighter, and that’s why I call out Eddie Alvarez,” Melendez said on HDNet’s Inside MMA show last week. “Let’s unify those titles. I’d love to fight that guy and test myself. I think if I could beat him, I could be No. 1 and vice versa.”
That challenge would appear to be something that would interest Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney who has previously stated that he would be confident about putting Alvarez up against anybody in the world at 155lbs.
“I will do everything I can to get Gilbert what he asked for,” was Rebney’s official response to the challenge. “Gilbert wants the fight, Eddie wants the fight, and I want the fight. All we have to do is get Scott Coker on board, and together, we can make this happen. Eddie wants to fight the best, and Gilbert wants to fight the best, and there is no reason why any promoter or network should stand in the way of that.”
Hours later Scott Coker gave signals that he was just as eager to see this fight take place.
“If the stars align and we can work out all the terms and conditions and timing, we’d do it,” Coker told MMAjunkie.com. “Of course we would. Why wouldn’t we? Let’s go do this.”
It’s good to see the two promotions so willing to participate in a co-promotion arrangement, and with both Melendez and Alvarez being exciting fighters to watch this should be a great fight, and one that’s highly significant in terms of the overall lightweight rankings.
The only question would be, where would this fight take place? On Strikeforce via Showtime, or ideally CBS, or on Bellator via Fox Sports Net? To my mind it makes sense for Bellator to piggyback onto the Strikeforce show since they are the more established promotion at this moment in time.
Also, if your going to do Alvarez Vs Melendez, why not put together a fight involving Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard vs someone like Dan Henderson, ‘Jacare’ Souza or Jake Shields if he sticks around, while they are at it?