Unfortunately, the electrifying lightweight scrap between Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez and Dream title holder Shinya Aoki won’t make it on Fighting and Entertainment Group’s “Dynamite!! 2010” fight card.
MMAFighting confirmed the news with FEG USA’s Mike Kogan and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker over the extended Thanksgiving weekend.
“It’s not [that there was] a problem with anyone,” Kogan stated. “It’s just a deal couldn’t happen. Everyone is very upset.”
Melendez dominated Aoki for a unanimous decision win at “Strikeforce: Nashville.” Since Dream lent out Aoki’s services for the April event, the San Jose, California based promotion was expected to return the favor by shipping Melendez off to the far east for the New Year’s Eve extravaganza.
According to the report, one of the key sticking points that prevented the rematch was Melendez’s current contract situation with Strikeforce. It appears his deal is winding down and he would like to secure his future with a long-term extension beforehand.
Kogan is looking to keep Aoki on the roster, but was unable to confirm which opponents were on their short list. He also mentioned there was an outside shot ‘Melendez vs. Aoki II’ could still come together, but given Strikeforce’s focus on re-signing another impending free agent (Please see: Fedor Emelianenko), it’s highly unlikely.
FEG is hoping to feature 13 bouts on this year’s Kickboxing/MMA fight card, with the majority of the contests devoted to mixed martial arts.
“Dynamite!! 2010” takes place inside the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. HDNet will treat North Americans to a free broadcast.