Less than 24 hours after Strikeforce announced the cancellation of Saturday’s event, Showtime has issued a press release explaining why the network decided to pull the plug on the show.
As expected, lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez’s (Pictured) abrupt exit, parlayed with the card’s overall lack of star power, was the reason Showtime deleted the card from its lineup.
“On Friday night Strikeforce informed us that headliner Gilbert Melendez had sustained an injury and would not be able to compete in the September 29th Strikeforce event,” the statement read. “After reviewing the remaining matchups on the card, we concluded that there were no other fights suitable to headline our Showtime telecast.
“On Saturday morning, we reluctantly informed Strikeforce that we could not continue with our plans to the televise the event.”
To Strikeforce’s credit, they wanted to go ahead with the card despite Melendez’s injury. However, as Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker admitted, “Without a television partner, we simply could not move forward with this event.”
On Monday, it was revealed a separated shoulder is what forced “El Niño” to bow out of Saturday’s scrap against Pat Healy. No timetable was given for his return.
Healy tweeted this morning that Melendez reached out to him to apologize for withdrawing from the title bout.
Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, California was to host the festivities. Refunds for tickets purchased are available at point of sale.