By MATT BOONE
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
According to a MMAFighting.com report, Cesar Gracie is claiming his champion MMA pupil Gilbert Melendez has agreed to defend his Strikeforce lightweight title in a match against top-ranked Strikeforce contender Jorge Masvidal.
No official date has been set for the Melendez-Masvidal title showdown, however a Strikeforce event in November or December is most likely at this point.
Masvidal is riding a two-fight win streak following his last defeat, which came in the form of a unanimous decision loss to Paul Daley in September of 2010. Since the Daley loss, Masvidal has racked up wins over Billy Evangelista and the highly regarded K.J. Noons in March and June of 2011, respectively.
Melendez comes into the fight on a five-fight win streak, compiling impressive victories over Rodrigo Damm, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Josh Thomson, Shinya Aoki and Tatsuya Kawajiri prior to his last defeat back in June of 2008.
Melendez had hoped to make the transition into the UFC, much like his Cesar Gracie teammate Nick Diaz, but will have to wait until 2012 at the earliest, as Masvidal will be the final fight for Melendez in the 2011 calendar year.
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