Strikeforce Re-Ups Champion & Top 5 Lightweight Gilbert Melendez

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(Melendez dominates Ishida.)

This week Strikeforce announced that it locked its Lightweight Champion, Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (#3 Lightweight), into a new multi-year agreement.

“Strikeforce is my home, they’ve always been like family to me and I’m looking forward to continuing my career with them,” Melendez is quoted in the press release. “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.’’

Despite Melendez’s sentiment, this announcement ensures several more years of problematic matchmaking for the Strikeforce Lightweight Champion. The only top-10 lightweight available to fight Melendez is Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri (#10), a fighter with very little name recognition in America and a man Melendez already has a win over. The only other fighters in Strikeforce’s contender pipeline are Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm (#24) and Justin “Silverback” Wilcox (#26).

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