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.
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.
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