Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
Ben Henderson may make his next UFC lightweight title defense against Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez on April 20 on UFC on Fox 7.
MMA fans long talked about what would happen if Strikeforce champions were given a chance to take on UFC champions in their same division. It may have taken until Strikeforce folded, but it looks like we might find out this April.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the UFC has its sights set on April 20's UFC on FOX 7 event to pair UFC lightweight titleholder Henderson against Strikeforce's last reigning divisional champion, Gilbert Melendez.
The event is likely to take place in Melendez's backyard, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, where he competed eight times while on the Strikeforce roster. That promotion went out of business after last Saturday night's event.
According to sources, there are still potential roadblocks to the Henderson vs. Melendez that could force the organization to take a different path, but that matchup is the organization's intended direction.
Other Strikeforce champions to move over to the UFC have had a rocky road thus far. Nick Diaz lost to Carlos Condit and then was suspended for a failed drug test (marijuana) after defeating BJ Penn but will still get a title shot at Georges St. Pierre in his next fight. Heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem destroyed Brock Lesnar in his first UFC bout, but also suffered a failed drug test suspension (elevated testosterone).
More updates to come as the fight moves toward becoming official.