By FCF Staff
Just a few weeks removed from the news that Strikeforce has locked up the services of welterweight champ Nick Diaz for some time, the promotion has announced that it has signed lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez to a new, multi-year agreement. No terms of the contract were disclosed in today’s announcement.
“Strikeforce is my home, they’ve always been like family to me and I’m looking forward to continuing my career with them,” said the 5-foot-9, 27-year-old Melendez. “There are a lot of great fights out there for me – lots of challenges. I can’t wait to get back into the cage, do my thing and show the world that I’m still at the top of my game.’’
Melendez (18-2) has re-asserted his presence in the world lightweight rankings over the last couple of years, through avenging a previous loss to Josh Thomson and earning victories over noted Japanese fighters Mitsuhiro Ishida and Dream champion, Shinya Aoki.
The California fighter, who has trained under the guidance of BJJ guru Cesar Gracie and noted Muay Thai practitioner Jongsanan Fairtex, is 8-2 in his last ten fights.
“I’m healthy again and excited about fighting again real soon,’’ Melendez said. “It doesn’t matter who I fight. I just want to get back in there and rip.’’
Strikeforce’s next event takes place this Saturday in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The card will feature the opening round of the promotion’s heavyweight grand-prix, with Fedor Emelianenko taking on Antonio Silva and Andrei Arlovski facing Sergei Kharitonov.
The event will be broadcast on Showtime.