Gilbert Melendez negotiating with the UFC; a drop to featherweight being considered
MMA fans have long wondered how Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez would fare in the UFC’s deep pool of lightweights. Even though Strikeforce is folding, we may still never see what Melendez would do against the best 155 lbs fighters in the world. Reason? He could be going down to the featherweight division if Cesar Gracie teammate Nate Diaz wins the lightweight title against Benson Henderson this weekend at UFC on Fox 5 in Seattle.
Diaz suggested that Melendez could be moving down in weight during open workouts this week. Meanwhile, Cesar Gracie told MMA Junkie that “El Nino” is currently negotiating with the UFC and what Diaz said about a move to featherweight is a possibility. However, should Diaz come up short in his effort at gaining the lightweight title, Melendez would remain a lightweight.
Melendez is currently sidelined with a severe shoulder separation and was unable to face Pat Healy at the final Strikeforce event. While he waits to heal, Gracie says that the negotiations with the UFC are in the early stages and there is no word on when Melendez will be able to return to fighting. When Melendez finally does make it to the UFC, it is not known if he will immediately be thrown into a title fight or have to work his way up.
Rest assured that the Skrap Pack will be watching this weekend’s card with great intent as it has a strong bearing on how the unit operates in the future.