Coker wants Melendez vs. Kawajiri next

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker wants lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez to defend his title next against Tatsuya Kawajiri.

“We’re definitely having that conversation,” Coker said Wednesday on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I’m going to try to work that out and get Kawajiri in there with Gilbert. I think that that’s a fight we’re interested in.”

Melendez outpointed Kawajiri in a December 2006 encounter in Pride. The Japanese fighter has lost just twice since, and last week he earned a unanimous decision over former Strikeforce lightweight champ Josh Thomson.

“I know that Kawajiri wants to come fight here in America,” Coker said. “We had some conversations [in Japan] before I left, and we’re going to continue right after the Nashville show this Friday.”

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