Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has revealed that the promotion are keen to have Japanese star Tatsuya Kawajiri fight lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez in the near future.
“I’m going to try to work that out and get Kawajiri in there with Gilbert. I think that that’s a fight we’re interested in,” Coker confirmed via Sherdog.com on Friday.
Kawajiri, who’s been fighting with the DREAM promotion since it’s inception, is regarded as one of the top 10 lightweights in the world, and demonstrated it by dominating Strikeforce’s Josh Thomson over three rounds at Dynamite!! 2010 at the turn of the year.
The 32 year-old does hold a previous decision loss to Melendez dating back to PRIDE Shockwave 2006, but with ‘Crusher’ going 8-2 in the past three years and Melendez 6-2 during the same period there’s now significant interest in a rematch in the U.S.
With many of the world’s top lightweights residing in the UFC and WEC over the past few years Strikeforce have dipped into the Japanese market several times to provide meaningful match-ups for Melendez. In 2009 he avenged a previous loss to Mitsuhiro Ishida, while last year he successfully defended his title against Shinya Aoki in a dominant five round performance.