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Strikeforce: Melendez-Aoki, Diaz-Sakurai, Cyborg-Toughill, Lashley-Rogers Likely

Just hours after the conclusion of Saturday’s “Strikeforce: Miami” event, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker sat down with MMA Fighting to discuss the next fights for champions Gilbert Melendez, Nick Diaz, and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, as well as heavyweight prospect Bobby Lashley.

Melendez, the lightweight title-holder, is expected to return against DREAM lightweight champ Shinya Aoki, while recently-crowned welterweight champ Nick Diaz is likely to fight Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, not Jay Hieron, in his first title defense.

“Cyborg,” the 145-pound women’s champion, will face Erin Toughill next following her successful title defense over Marloes Coenen on Saturday, with the title-holder then fighting the winner of the upcoming eight-women 145-pound tournament.

Lashley, who improved to 5-0 with a first-round TKO of Wes Sims at “Miami,” will stay active and could fight heavyweight contender Brett Rogers in his next bout.

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Pictured: Gilbert Melendez


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