Melendez-Aoki 2 Unlikely for Dream 16

Jul 12, 2010
Gilbert Melendez vs. Shinya Aoki: Dave Mandel/

A rematch between lightweight champions Gilbert Melendez and Shinya Aoki will probably not take place at Dream 16 on Sept. 25 in Nagoya, Japan, according to the Strikeforce lightweight champion’s camp.

Minutes after his first-round submission victory over Tatsuya Kawajiri at Dream 15 on Saturday, the Dream lightweight champion announced to the crowd that he’d avenge his April defeat to Melendez at the Japanese promotion’s next event.

Melendez shut out Aoki to a unanimous decision victory at Strikeforce “Nashville” on April 17 in Nashville, Tenn.

Gil Melendez Sr., who manages his son, said the September date would be “impossible” for the fighter to make, especially for the foreign venue.

Though Melendez and his camp have voiced their intentions to grant the Japanese star a rematch on his home turf, September appears too soon for the California fighter, who is mending a broken hand and expects the birth of his first daughter in late July or early August.

The elder Melendez said the 28-year-old fighter, who’s won 18 of his 20 career bouts and rides a four-fight win streak, aims to return to competition in mid October at the earliest and has recently began training again.

In addition, Melendez is currently serving a three-month suspension for his involvement in the in-cage, post-fight brawl that occurred following his teammate Jake Shields’ victory over Dan Henderson at the April event. That suspension will be completed in September.
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