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Eddie Alvarez vs. Gilbert Melendez clears way for possible Bellator/Strikeforce co-promotion

Gilbert Melendez threw down the gauntlet, Bellator Fighting Championships answered, and it now appears as though Strikeforce has accepted the challenge. Following a series of events that took place over the weekend it now looks like a clash of champions between Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and Strikeforce title-holder Melendez could be on the horizon.

Bellator recently released this statement in a press release only hours before this weekend’s “Strikeforce St. Louis: Heavy Artillery” card was set to get underway:

Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney responded today to Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez’s call-out of reigning Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez, saying that he will do everything in his power to make the fight happen.

Melendez, appearing on this weekend’s edition of HDNet’s “Inside MMA,” told hosts Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten that he would “love to fight Eddie Alvarez.”

“I think he’s an amazing fighter and that’s why I call out Eddie Alvarez – let’s unify those titles,” Melendez said. “I’d love to fight that guy and test myself. I think if I could beat him, I could be No. 1 and vice-versa.”

Rebney said an Alvarez-Melendez fight would be “a great matchup between two of the best in the world.”

“As an MMA fan, first and foremost, Alvarez versus Melendez is an awesome fight at 155 that deserves to be seen and needs to be made,” Rebney said. “Gilbert has the heart of a warrior, just like our champion Eddie. I will do everything I can to get Gilbert what he asked for. Gilbert wants the fight, Eddie wants the fight and I want the fight. All we have to do is get Scott Coker on board and together we can make this happen. Eddie wants to fight the best and Gilbert wants to fight the best and there is no reason why any promoter or network should stand in the way of that.”

To which Strikeforce President Scott Coker recently responded with, “If the stars align and we can work out all the terms and conditions and timing, we’d do it.”

“Of course we would,” Coker revealed in a recent conversation with “Why wouldn’t we? Let’s go do this.”

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Oh yes I was waiting for a fight b/w the two top LWs outside of the UFC. I honestly think Eddie Alvarez should take this one, as his striking is a lot more advanced than Gilbert’s. Gilbert comes in and throws one or two shots, and any shots after that aren’t really fluid, Eddie on the other hand has very crisp combos and he’s known for his power so this should be a really good fight either way.

    Sucks that Huerta lost though.

  • JKDCAPO says:

    This would be great for MMA. A unification of titles across different promotions. I hope they can leave the egos at the door and make this happen. Maybe Dana can learn something from these guys and get the UFC up in this mix if everything goes well. I don’t see it happening with the UFC though. I think Strikeforce and Bellator have a long way to go before Dana would even consider letting them get a piece of the UFC pie. It does look promising though. We will see.

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    If both companies can work out the whole co-promotion and money issue I think this could be good for all involved. Give Bellator some much needed exposure and give the fans a good match up.

    Haven’t seen enough of either fighter to really pick a winner but, the more free MMA the better.

  • This is great.! Eddie lost to Shinya Aoki via heal hook and Gilbert Melendez just embarrassed Aoki.

    Now, this is in your face to all that neged me b4. I have been preaching unified belts and co promotion fights on here for a while and EVERYONE had shot it down and neged the idea?? talking about money issues and getting fighters to line up for fights…. of course all that has to happen. Its happens all the time in boxing. We as fans just Need to Demand these fights to happen.
    Funny how now it is happening and everyone is on board…HATERS negs this punks. To all the Haters that talked it down and neged the idea; You all were Slow to learn but I am happy to see the fireworks go off in the sky. Welcome to the co promotion world of MMA fellas. Now we get to talk about fights and see them happen.

    To the UFC. Strikeforce and the other smaller promotions are moving in the right direction. I hope you decide to do the same because you are running out of fights that I want to see and more importantly, want to pay for.

    Viva la Co-Promotion!!

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i personally dont care about unified belts, i just wanna see the best fighters on the planet fight each other. Eddie Vs Gilbert would be just awesome to watch

  • MCM says:

    I don’t care about belts either, I just wanna see good fights. This should be a good fight although neither of these guys are the “best in world”. Alvarez was just in a “Super fight” with Josh Neer and El Nino’s only big win was against Aoki (thompson is pretty good too but they’re 1-1). I think it’s great to see the smaller promotions working together since it’s the only way they can continue to get quality opponents for their champs. I say Alvarez takes this one as I don’t think Gilbert is even a top 20 LW.

  • Rece Rock says:

    As a fan of MMA sure I want to see this fight…

    As a fan of Bellator I beg them to please stay away from SF and please continue to build your brand and you’ll soon have the ability to lure in top 5 fighters outside of the UFC whom will want a secure promotion to call home. Just stay on coarse and steer clear of the garbage.
    Regardless of whom it is why is coker still willing to copromote? The results have been less than stellar thus far… SF needs to learn to build there own brand as well…there recognition amongst the avg. Tv viewer is zip- so co promote with other brands is helping you how? Business 101 isn’t an option I guess. They have to learn they can please fans and make money n build up
    there promotion all at the same time, they don’t have to pick one or the other. Seriously if you show the UFC logo and a strikeforce logo on the street and ask ppl passing what’s this?- 10x as many ppl would know what UFC is… Now how does co promoting and sharing airtime with other promotions going to help SF?? I really don’t care if there promotion survives or not but I do care that they are standing in the way of mma growing

  • Guthookd says:

    I’m with Rece, for the most part.

    Bellator should not dilute their ever maturing product by allowing Strikeforce through the door. Give it another 1-2 years and I think Bellator will be ahead of Strikeforce in terms of regular viewers.

    I, for one, do not want to see the end of their tournament format, but how can they build up the tournament challenger if they loose their belt to another organization.

    I say stick to your guns Bellator.

  • LiverPunch says:

    Yes, yes yes!!!!
    Everyone co-promoting!
    Oh apart from the high and mighty.
    I know it is not the ideal, but champions from 2 rival promotions being able to fight…YES!!!! it is all coming to fruition.
    If only a certain bald headed man would come to the party we could have rankings that mean something, a true world champ and see a lot more of the dream match-ups that I for one …well, dream of.
    A. Silva vs Fedor anyone?

  • LiverPunch says:

    Rece Rock, it would have been more appropriate if you started with”…as a person who hates Strikeforce and tries to put down everything they do…”

    and how is Strikeforce holding back the growth of MMA?.
    Co-promoting? perhaps it is their free to air shows? is their working with EA on a video game franchise? oh I know, it is having the no.1 HW in the world and introducing him to casual US MMA fans.
    If you don’t want MMA cross and co-promotion, ie the best fighters able tofight each other, I think it may be you who is trying to hold it back.
    I dream of the day when the UFC holds events not fighters. A free MMA world where top ranked fighters are able to fight each other is as close to a perfect MMA landscape as I can see ever happening.
    Imagine Brock fighting in Japan in a ring against Fedor, with Rampage vs Mousasi, Marquardt vs Khalidov, Sakurai vs Huerta and Diaz vs Fitch on the main card. Or we cold have exclusive contracts where we constantly argue about Fedor’s opponents and whether or not Rogers is top 10.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Well liverpunch in my opinion sf is holding back the growth of MMA by simply having dome good fighters on there roster with no competition for them… There commentators do nothing to educate the fans or the new viewers. The company as a whole isn’t making any type of power moves to shake things up or really grab the rings and push for greatness- there just stagnant and in turn how is that helping the sport? There’s a difference between hating SF and not understanding SF and I’m truly baffled by them. I really don’t see how they can succeed with there practices so I choose not to be another crutch for them… I mean seriously liverpunch did you see those showtime #’s ?? I mean hello Coker maybe advertising/ marketing and promotion may be an important part of this business..huh?? They work against themselves at times and that’s why I don’t whole heartedly support them.

  • blue says:

    No more co-promotions please.

    Dream’s Lightweight Championship is officially a joke now. Shinya Aoki just got embarrassed by Gilbert Melendez yet Shinya Aoki is still their champion? #WTF

    The Dream belt hass now been rendered nothing more than an interim belt. An Eddie Alvarez vs. Gilbert Melendez will now render the Strikeforce\Dream Championship Belt irrelevant or the Bellator Belt irrelevant.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Co-promoting between Bellator and Strikeforce makes a certain amount of sense. Both orgs are respectable, but neither is dominant. An Alvarez-Melendez fight creates buzz for both of them that they might not have otherwise. UFC is the dominant brand, so co-promotion doesn’t really help them. What do they gain? Bellator and Strikeforce fans probably watch UFC already, anyway. If there are fans of either Bellator or Strikeforce who don’t watch UFC, it has to be a small group, so adding them to the audience for a one-off co-promotion doesn’t justify the cost and the effort.

  • AR15 says:

    Hey Blue…i dont think it would render the belts irrelevant, the value would definitly suffer a blow. But for MMA as a whole, is that really a bad thing? I think this would give companies the opportunity to catapult themselves in contetion w/ UFC. Just think if we had 2, or 3, or 4 really big companies battling it out w/ who’s got the best fighters. And then we got 10, 20, 30, smaller promotions, kinda like farm teams for these big promotions to choose there next big up and coming star. And then you have superfights mutiple times a yr if the big companies choose to go that route
    Now im not saying this is how i want it to be or how it should be…im just simply saying that, ya i see what you’re saying Blue about co-promoting kinda slams the door on the loser…BUT it may open a lot of other doors nobody may ever think of until it happens.

  • LiverPunch says:

    I will disagree here again AR15 and say that SF has Fedor, Rogers, Overeem, Werdum, Arloski and BigFoot at HW who have the chance through co-promotion to fight Barnett, Aleks, Kharitonov etc.
    MW= Jacare, Lawler, Le, Smith, Shamrock, Hendo, Manhoef, Villasenor.
    I will say LHW and WW are fairly weak, so perhaps..THEY SHOULD CO-PROMOTE. Duhhh.How is them not co-promoting moving MMA forward?????? I just don’t get it.
    I cannot believe the likes of blue complaining that Aoki has been beaten. Would you rather the best never fight and we are all deprived of seeing these fights!!!?. I’m sorry but if you guys would rather the MMA world stay seperated and we never get to see the greats fight…your all a bunch of idiots and I wish people who wish to see the best in MMA compete would replace you. I know that is harsh, but it is the way I feel. How dumb do you have to be to want fighters to never fight? what a stupid argument. I mean What a bummer it would be if Fedor and Lesnar fought or Melendez and Florian or Maia vs Jacre. How terrible. It blows my mind that so called MMA fans don’t want to see the best of each promotion squaring off. Perhaps they should stop the best in other sports from competing against each other, because as it stands MMA is the only sport I know of where they can’t. Please name another if you can.

  • blue says:

    Please name another if you can.  (Quote)

    Boxing. Circa 1990. Evander Holyfield…in his prime. Mike Tyson…in his prime. The fight never took place because the two promotions could not come to terms on how to divide the money, which venue to fight at (MGM or Caesars), which cable providers could broadcast the fight (HBO or Cinemax) and God knows what else.

    How long did it take the UFC to set up the Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin win fight? And then compare that to how long it took Strikeforce and M-1 to set up the Fedor-Overeem fight?

    I suspect your fairly young and on the surface co-promotions should work, “You good fighter. You good fighter. Let’s do fight”. But the reality is there is far more depth to solving the problem of a co-promotion than meets the eye. Look at Strikeforce and M-1…and we’re not even talking big-time money yet. Can you imagine how much a headache co-promotions will be in MMA when we start getting to the big money?

    No more co-promotions please.

  • LiverPunch says:

    Blue in case you didn’t notice THEY ARE IN DIFFERENT PROMOTIONS!!!!!!! What are you saying, Melendez and Alverez should never fight?.
    Evander and Tyson fought a few times and I watched the fights live. Young my ass. Ive seen many many co-promotions work. If it was not for co-promotions we would have seen a LOT less fights happen. True? You are one of those that seem to deny reality, I’ll explain it to you. There is lots of MMA organisations…not just one…so, in order for top fighters to fight…they must co-promote.
    What do you want to happen? them not fighting? Whats your solution buddy? they are not all under the same banner are they?. So they either co-promote or we don’t see them fight. Like I said Tyson did fight Holyfield. The way you want it, they never would have. Honestly what was your point?
    Everyone always says “co-promotion doesn’t work in boxing”. Since when? It doesn’t always work out and that! is when fights don’t happen but at least there is a very good chance you get to see the best compete. Which, unless you are stupid is not the case with any UFC and non-UFC fighters. They are prevented by F#CKING LAW!!!!!!. If you don’t want co-promotion, you don’t want to see the best compete. It is as simple as that.

  • LiverPunch says:


  • AR15 says:

    & once again liverpuss, you obviously have a problem w/ reading & comprehension!!! How bout you re-read my last statement & go on feeling like a jacka$$. I never said co-promotions were bad. I really dont know why i even waste my time responding to outspoken, thick headed, idiots suffering from little man syndrome like yourself

  • Dufresne says:

    In my opinion co-promotion is like socialism in this sense: if they were done 100% correctly and people never had egos or let them get involved, they would be fantastic. Everyone gets everything they need, we would get to see fighters going against the best competition on a regular basis, so on and so forth. Sadly it doesn’t work. There are too many variables, too many egos, too many differing ideas on how to do things.

    I’m excited about this fight, and I really look forward to seeing it come to fruition, but as an overall idea co-promotion in MMA scares the hell out of me. Look at boxing. Someone else already brought up Tyson/Hollyfield so I’ll pick another one: Mayweather/Pacquiao. Two of the best boxers of all time who everyone wants to see fight, and it’s probably never going to happen because they are independent contractors with vastly different ideas of how to work it out and neither will compromise. I think co-promotion may work short term for smaller promotions, but I pray it never catches on in major MMA.


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