Rumor became fact today when the UFC announced Gilbert Melendez and Daniel Cormier, two of Strikeforce’s stand-outs, would make their Octagon debuts on April 20 at UFC on FOX 7 in the failed promotion’s longtime home-base of San Jose, California. As expected, Melendez will battle lightweight champion Benson Henderson in the evening’s main event, while Cormier is set to mix it up with former heavyweight title-holder Frank Mir in co-headlining action.
Melendez, who was the last man to hold Strikeforce’s lightweight strap, will enter the bout with 21-2 record and seven straight instances of success in his rear-view mirror. “El Nino” has taken out a number of notable opponents since coming on the scene, racking up past wins over the likes of Clay Guida, Josh Thomson, Jorge Masvidal, and Shinya Aoki.
Comparably, Henderson is 18-2 with an impressive six-fight winning streak of his own featuring victories over Guida, Jim Miller, Frankie Edgar, and most recently Nate Diaz.
The match-up between Mir (16-6) and Cormier (11-0) marks a bout originally booked for a Strikeforce event in November. However, the fight fell apart when Mir withdrew due to injury and the two have been publicly lobbying for the scrap ever since. Mir is one of the most decorated heavyweights in UFC history, owning past finishes over names like Brock Lesnar and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, while the unbeaten Cormier has earned stoppages against eight of the eleven foes he’s felled.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE