Alistair Overeem, Dan Henderson, and Nick Diaz all abandoned their Strikeforce titles to sign with the UFC and are scheduled for action in the Octagon over the next three months. Now, assuming UFC President Dana White has his way, lightweight Gilbert Melendez will join the group of former Strikeforce champions with the date of his arrival coming sooner than later.
White opened up about the company’s interest in bringing the gold-wearing grappler on board where he made it clear Melendez’s days as Strikeforce champ are numbered (much like the promotion itself it seems).
“We’re going to bring Melendez over ASAP. We’re looking to bring him over now,” White explained to MMAWeekly.
“El Nino” certainly doesn’t appear opposed to the idea, telling the media outlet in a follow-up discussion that he’s currently focused on a December defense against top contender Jorge Masvidal but would “be there in a heartbeat” if asked to join the UFC lightweight division.
Melendez holds an overall record of 19-2 and is widely considered to be one of the “Top 3” 155-pounders in MMA. He is currently on a five-fight winning streak and owns past victories over a number of respected peers including Josh Thomson, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Shinya Aoki.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE