Any fans hoping Strikeforce's "big announcement" was Gilbert Melendez's departure to the UFC should temper their expectations. The promotion made their announcement late Tuesday afternoon via Twitter, and it was little more than a date for the lightweight champion to defend his belt against Jorge Masvidal, which is now slated for December 17th in San Diego.
With the decision, Melendez's (19-2) inevitable move the UFC is delayed throughout the remainder of this year, despite recent claims from UFC brass that the goal was to get the 29-year-old into the promotion "ASAP." A top-three fighter at 155-pounds, "El Nino" is now set to battle for the lightweight belt for the eighth time since 2008, and will square off against an unexpected challenger, Masvidal (22-6), who claimed the division's number-one contendership with an upset win over K.J. Noons at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum.