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Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez reportedly out of January title-defense

In what has become a far too familiar tune, it looks like Strikeforce has lost a headlining fighter due to injury in the form of lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. “El Nino” has apparently withdrawn from a scheduled defense against Pat Healy on January 12 after suffering some sort of affliction while training for the tilt. Melendez also withdrew from a September match-up with Healy for similar reasons, though it is unknown if his current status is related to the same situation with his shoulder or something else.

UFC President Dana White first hinted at the possibility of Melendez pulling out during a talk with fans in Montreal for UFC 154. The news has since been confirmed by TATAME who spoke to Melendez’s coach, Cesar Gracie.

Gracie also stated he expected Melendez to move to the UFC with the end of Strikeforce seemingly in sight.

No statement has been offered by Strikeforce officials or Melendez himself.


  • AlphaOmega says:

    Pretty soon I’m figuring we will get another, SF has had to cancel the January show

  • Creature says:

    Is is bad that i read the title of this article and just laughed? Seriously though, gotta feel for Pat Healy, guy has now had 2 straight title shots thrown down the drain because of an injury to Melendez.

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Maybe this is just my tinfoil hat speaking, but it is interesting that Melendez happened to withdraw the same day Rousey’s UFC deal was officially announced (not to mention Gracie’s follow-up comments about Melendez moving on to the UFC based on Strikeforce likely folding after the January event).

  • It sucks to watch SF circle the drain this way. They should just call it and let other fighters move onto other things. There are so many great fighters who have been stagnant due to waiting on Strikeforce to do something with them. I hate to see another organization fold, but if its going to happen I’d rather it happen quickly.


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