Gilbert Melendez Injured: Showtime Cancels Entire Strikeforce Event
For the second time in a month Zuffa has seen an injury force the cancellation of one of their events. We are all very well aware what happened with UFC 151. Now Strikeforce has been hit because their lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez was injured causing him to bow out of his title defense against Pat Healy which was scheduled for this Saturday in Sacramento.
Showtime pulled the plug on the broadcast because they felt the rest of the card wasn’t strong enough to bring in ratings. The blame game and finger pointing will begin today as Zuffa will surely say that they didn’t want to cancel the event and Showtime will say that Zuffa built a card that was devoid of any other interesting match-ups.
The fighters are the ones who get hurt here as they not only lose out on a payday, but they have been preparing for weeks only to have to suffer a huge letdown. Credit has to be given to both Healy and former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson who offered to fight one another despite the fact they spent time in Hawaii training together as well as helping BJ Penn prepare for his return to the Octagon against Rory MacDonald in December.
Both Thomson and Healy were guests on BJPenn.Com Radio yesterday and were asked about the possibility of facing one another should they each win their respective bouts on Saturday. Thomson was set to face Caros Fodor in his first fight since losing to Melendez this past May. Thomson and Healy have met previously with Thomson winning by third round submission in June of 2010.
Each man said they joked about the possibility of fighting one another while they were in Hawaii and said they would be able to put aside their friendship in the name of doing business. Apparently Showtime didn’t think a potential rematch between Thomson and Healy was enough to excite viewers and passed on their offer.
Strikeforce stated in their release that they would look to book the fighters on this card as soon as possible.
I will have an interview with Healy posted later today in which he discusses his time in Hawaii with Penn and Thomson.