"El Nino" could be on way to unification bout
With Strikeforce set to shut down after their January 12th event and much of their roster set to jump ship to the UFC, many are wondering what would be the fate of their champions. For Gilbert Melendez, it could be a exactly what he is asking for, lightweight champion Benson Henderson.
On Thursday, Dana White spoke with reporters following the pre-UFC 155 press conference and was asked of the fate of the Strikeforce lightweight champion.:
"(Melendez will) probably come right in and get a title shot," White said. "Again, we'll see."
As White stated with "Again, we'll see", anything could change. The entire lightweight title situation could change pending on the fight between "Cowboy" Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis, who will fight on the UFC on Fox 6 card. It is believed by many that the winner of that bout could also get the next shot at Henderson.
Pettis himself was also promised an immediate title shot following his championship victory over Benson Henderson at the final WEC event. However following Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard's draw at UFC 125, he opted not to wait and fight Clay Guida instead, a bout he lost and subsequently missed out on his title shot.
In an MMA world of injuries, draws and other worthy hungry fighters, promised title shots are anything but a guarantee. It is very likely for Melendez, who has held the Strikeforce lightweight championship since 2009, to sit out months on end and wait for his shot or fight for title contention in the the top MMA promotion. Or we really could see the first true unification bout in the UFC since Pride welterweight champion Dan Henderson lost to UFC middleweight Anderson Silva at UFC 82.
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