A much-anticipated Strikeforce lightweight title rematch between reigning champion Josh Thomson and the former champion Gilbert Melendez that had been scheduled for April 11 has been canceled.
Showtime officials issued a press release Wednesday night announcing that Thomson vs. Melendez II had been scrubbed in light of the fact that Thomson recently broke his leg during a sparring session with fellow Strikeforce competitor Billy Evangelista.
“I was sparring hard and I broke my leg, above my ankle, during an exchange,” the 30-year-old Thomson is quoted as saying in the release. “I’m very upset. All the hard work was done and it was time to fight,” said the injured champ. “I was looking forward to putting on a great show for the fans. All I can say is that I’ll be back when I get healthy.”
Melendez is expected to remain on the card with Strikeforce officials currently in the midst of seeking out a new opponent.
Strikeforce’s April 11 event is slated to emanate from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The card, which will mark the first of a multi-fight agreement with premium cable network Showtime, will be headlined by former Strikeforce middleweight champion Frank Shamrock taking on Nick Diaz at a catchweight of 179 pounds.