For those of you fanboys waiting for lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez to vacate his Strikeforce belt and challenge for a UFC crown, don’t hold your breath. According to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, former welterweight champion Nick Diaz was the ONLY Strikeforce title holder that had a provision in his contract which allowed him to jump to the big leagues.
“When Nick was working his way over to the UFC, we had talks with [manager Cesar Gracie],” Coker told 5thRound. “It was a process. It was a very unique situation because of the boxing allowance – that we allowed him to box. That’s how it ended up working out the way it did.
“The idea was to keep him in MMA, and Nick used that as a little [bargaining] chip.”
Coker reiterated that Diaz’s boxing provision was the only reason Mr. 209 was permitted to transfer over to the UFC.
Here is what Coker told us about his champions getting stolen away by their big brother. We also asked reigning Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Dan Henderson if he would be interested in abandoning his belt to challenge UFC king Jon Jones: