When someone buys a car for the sole purpose of scavenging the valuable parts and junking the rest, this is known as “parting out” the vehicle. When Zuffa bought Strikeforce seven months ago, those of you who predicted that it would soon end up as a picked-clean skeleton sitting on blocks in Dana White’s backyard can start smugly patting yourselves on the back right about now.
“Yeah, we do want to bring Gilbert Melendez over, and we’re looking at it right now,” White said following Saturday’s UFC on Versus 6 event at Washington, D.C.’s Verizon Center. “We’re looking to bring Gilbert Melendez over ASAP.”
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White, though, isn’t counting out the possibility that Melendez could get an immediate title shot in the UFC. While he’s earned top-contender status on merit, White said it’ll depend more on the timing of the title picture, which gets some clarity next weekend when UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar takes on Gray Maynard.
“[The title shot] is a possibility,” he said. “The thing is with that division, it’s so stacked, there are a lot of possibilities.
“We’ll see what happens with the timing.”
Speaking of timing, Gilbert’s already supposed to have a date with Jorge Masvidal at the next Strikeforce show in December, but it sounds like however the log-jam in the UFC’s lightweight division shakes out is more important than that shit. Apparently Fabricio Werdum and maybe even Bigfoot Silva are being considered for transfers too, which makes me wonder about the fate of the Grand Prix finalists… you know, presuming the finals ever actually happen.
I’d held out hope that they’d keep Strikeforce operating as a kind of “UFC Challengers” feeder league, but its days are now looking pretty numbered. The UFC has already poached four of the five male champions, to date only one of those vacancies has been filled, and there’s no apparent plans for the rest. The defection of Melendez would leave Luke Rockhold as the sole remaining champ, and the only one that the UFC’s probably not much interested in. As for the female champs… sorry ladies, I’m afraid there’s no remaining lifeboats. Begone with ye to Bellator, I suppose.