Werdum and Melendez near UFC

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In England, Werdum tries to extend arm of eventual winner and former TUF cast memberVinny Magalhães in ADCC final. Photo: John Lamonica.

Yes, they’re on their way. That’s what Dana White vowed after UFC on Versus 6 last Saturday.

“We want to bring Gilbert Melendez over, and we’re setting it up now. Him and Fabricio Werdum,” said the organizational kingpin. Thus, the UFC will drain Strikeforce of two more top-billing athletes, futher depleting the Showtime-broadcasted event of its star power.

Before crossing over from Strikeforce to the UFC, though, reigning lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez (19w, 2l) will go through with his December commitment, when he puts his belt up for grabs against Jorge Masvidal.

Should he win, the Cesar Gracie black belt could head into the UFC with the kind of high regard that would fast-track him to a lightweight-title bid, facing the winner of this Saturday’s fight between current champ Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard.

Like Melendez, Werdum (14w, 5l, 1d) came to fame in Japan and cemented his top standing under the Strikeforce banner. Unlike the lightweight, however, Werdum has four fights’ worth of octagon experience, splitting his tally down the middle with two wins and two losses.

With career victories over the likes of Jon Olav Einemo, brother Fedor and Alexander Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Brandon Vera and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Werdum offers the possibility of intriguing rematches, as he has faced and lost to fellow countrymen Rodrigo Minotauro (at Pride FC) and Junior Cigano (in the UFC).

Who else would you like to see cross over from Strikeforce to UFC, dear reader? Let us know in the comments field below.

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