Much of the Strikeforce roster has been picked clean by the UFC over the past nine months, but the upcoming Melendez vs. Masvidal card will be a stacked event that includes a Lightweight championship fight, a Women’s Featherweight championship fight, and Light Heavyweight and Lightweight contender matchups.
In the main event Strikeforce Lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will put his title on the line against former Welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal. Melendez is considered to be one of the top Lightweights in the world and is arguably the best fighter remaining within the Strikeforce promotion.
Oddsmakers at 5Dimes have him handicapped as a -310 favorite to retain his title and stretch his unbeaten streak to six straight wins. Melendez is a complete fighter who should have an edge in talent over Masvidal regardless of where the fight goes.
Masvidal has been on a rollercoaster ride over his last eight fights, going 5-3, but is 2-0 since dropping down to Lightweight. He has solid wins over K.J. Noons and Billy Evangelista, but as a +255 underdog at 5Dimes the payout looks a little slim considering his opponent.
Strikeforce continues to be the source for the best female fights, and in the co-main event of the Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal card women's Featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos will put her title on the line against Japanese standout Hiroko Yamanaka.
Santos has been a wrecking machine and is currently on a 10-fight win streak dating back to 2005. She will enter this fight as a heavy favorite and is expected to put a big hurt on her opponent.
Yamanaka will be fighting for the first time outside of Japan and will be taking a huge step up in competition. She has an eight-fight win streak of her own and will look to utilize her submission skills and stop Santos before the champion can wear her down with strikes.
Other main card fights:
Gegard Mousasi vs. Ovince St. Preux
K.J. Noons vs. Billy Evangelista
Jerron Peoples vs. Roger Bowling
Caros Fodor vs. Justin Wilcox
Devin Cole vs. Gabriel Salinas-Jones
Fernando Gonzalez vs. Eddie Mendez
Herman Terrado vs. Chris Brown