For the second time in a month, Zuffa, LLC has been forced to cancel a show. This time, the injury bug has taken a bite out of reigning Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez (Pictured).
The mixed marital arts promotion didn’t report what wound forced Melendez out of Saturday’s event, only that “El Niño” suffered the injury during training. Melendez was set to defend his throne against Pat Healy.
While Strikeforce wanted to forge ahead without Melendez, Showtime decided to pull the plug when the card’s biggest superstar had to bow out.
“When Showtime informed us that it would not be airing the event, we made the difficult decision to cancel Saturday’s card in Sacramento,” said Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker. “Without a television partner, we simply could not move forward with this event. We wish Gilbert a speedy recovery and will work diligently and quickly to reschedule the fighters affected by this news on upcoming cards.”
Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, California was to host the festivities. Refunds for tickets purchased are available at point of sale.
“Want to say sorry to all my fans and supporters of @Strikeforce for not being able to compete. Injured myself early last week. Bummer…” Melendez tweeted just moments ago.
Exactly one month ago, the Ultimate Fighting Championship canceled UFC 151 after light heavyweight king Jon Jones refused to accept a last-second scrap against Chael Sonnen. Uncle Chael was stepping in for Dan Henderson, who had blown the MCL in his knee two weeks prior to the announcement.
Here are the athletes who were expected to compete in Sacto:
(Showtime Extreme 8PM ET/PT)
Estevan Payan vs. Michael Bravo
Nah-Shon Burrell vs. Yuri Villefort
Mike Kyle vs. Dion Staring
Cat Zigano vs. Amanda Nunes
Jorge Gurgel vs. Mizuto Hirota
(Showtime 10PM ET/PT)
Quinn Mulhern vs. Jorge Santiago
Isaac Vallie-Flagg vs. Adriano Martins
Josh Thomson vs. Caros Fodor
Carlos Augusto Filho vs. Gian Villante
Pat Healy vs. Gilbert Melendez (Strikeforce lightweight champion)