• Strikeforce

Coker quashes Melendez v Miller rumours

ESPN staff
April 19, 2011
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is one of the hottest properties outside of the UFC © Getty Images

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has moved quickly to quash reports that Gilbert Melendez will be given a UFC cross-over fight with Jim Miller.

Melendez extended his winning run to five fights with an awesome first-round stoppage of Tatsuya Kawajiri at the start of April, and the Strikeforce lightweight champion is becoming increasingly linked to future clashes with the stars of the UFC. Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard and Anthony Pettis have all been mentioned alongside Melendez, but the one name that seems to have stuck most is that of Jim Miller.

Coker has made no secret of the fact he would like to see Strikeforce v UFC match-ups, but he anticipates that Melendez's next opponent will come from within his organisation.

"There's going to be a lot of rumours flying back and forth, around fights and what's going to happen, but they're not based on fact," Coker said on the Savage Dog Show. "They're just based on rumours and people just trying to start a story or keep legs on the story. The truth is there has not been any dialogue on that.

"I've been feeling that he's the No. 1 lightweight in the world for the last 18 months or the last year at least. I think if you look at his performance over Kawajiri… I think it's well deserved. The truth is we haven't sat down and really mapped out a gameplan to the length of when these fights [with UFC fighters] will happen. I don't really have a response to that, but I think at some point, these fights will happen. And I think they should happen. It's just a matter of when and not if.

"Who knows when those other fights will happen," Coker said, "but I think that Gilbert will be able to hold his own and prove to the world that he is the number one fighter in the world.

"One of the fights I'd personally like to see is maybe Jorge Masvidal fight Justin Wilcox," Coker continued. "That's something that I think would be very entertaining for the fans and really see who the next guy could be."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.