Gilbert Melendez vs Jorge Masvidal odds for Strikeforce fight on Dec. 17

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Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez will be strapping on the gloves this Saturday night (Dec. 17, 2011) to defend his 155-pound strap against Jorge Masvidal at the Valley View Casino Centre in San Diego, California.

Melendez (19-2) hasn't seen the inside of a cage since a successful title defense against Japanese "Crusher," Tatsuya Kawajiri, back in April. That win marked "El Nino's" fifth in a row and shot him into the top five of the divisional rankings.

It should come as no surprise then, to learn he's a -360 favorite against Masvidal.

After coming up short in a unanimous decision loss to Paul "Semtex" Daley under the Shark Fights banner, "Gamebred" (22-6) made a successful Strikeforce debut opposite Billy Evangelista back in March, punching his way to a sweep on the judges' scorecards despite a less-than-enthusiastic response from the Columbus crowd.

The Bellator and Sengoku veteran turned that around and staked his claim to the Melendez throne with his impressive win over K.J. Noons, a former pro boxer, earlier this year.

Yet he's still a pretty sizable underdog at +300.

Are the oddsmakers giving the champion too much respect? Or the challenger too little? See all the Strikeforce odds and betting lines for this weekend's Showtime-televised event right here.

To get up to speed on all the news and notes for Strikeforce: "Melendez vs. Masvidal" click here.

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