Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez and Bellator 155-pound title-holder Eddie Alvarez are one step closer to a potential meeting, as Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said following Saturday’s “Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery” that the promotion is open to working with Bellator to set up the champion vs. champion bout.
“If the stars align and we can work out all the terms and conditions and timing, we’d do it,” Coker told MMAjunkie. “Of course we would. Why wouldn’t we? Let’s go do this. We’ve lent them three or four fighters already, and we had a brief conversation about (loaning) Roger Huerta, but the terms, conditioning, time just weren’t right. But we’d love to work with them.”
Melendez called for a matchup with Alvaez in a Friday appearance on HDNet’s “Inside MMA”, and Bellator issued a press release the following day confirming their interest in setting up a fight between the top 10 lightweights.
“I will do everything I can to get Gilbert what he asked for. Gilbert wants the fight, Eddie wants the fight and I want the fight. All we have to do is get Scott Coker on board and together we can make this happen. Eddie wants to fight the best and Gilbert wants to fight the best and there is no reason why any promoter or network should stand in the way of that,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said.
Melendez (18-2) topped Shinya Aoki at last month’s “Strikeforce: Nashville” in his first title defense since earning a victory over Josh Thomson in December, while Alvarez has won five-straight, including a non-title win over Josh Neer at Bellator 17 earlier this month.
Pictured: Gilbert Melendez