Gilbert Melendez Lands Pat Healy for Next Strikeforce Title Defense

July 25, 2012
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Gilbert Melendez at Strikeforce Barnett vs. CormierAll the guessing about Gilbert Melendez’s next opponent came to a halt on Wednesday when Strikeforce announced that its lightweight champion would square off with Pat Healy on Sept. 29 at the Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, Calif.

“There’s no doubt that Gilbert Melendez is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, but he’s facing a tough test when he defends the Strikeforce lightweight title against Pat Healy in Sacramento,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said.

“Pat has been around the sport a long time and has put together an impressive winning streak. This is the biggest fight of his life and he doesn’t want to waste this opportunity.”

The co-main event will feature recently crowned Strikeforce World Grand Prix Heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier, returning to the cage, as he looks to keep his unbeaten streak intact.

Cormier’s opponent was not released, but will be announced in the coming days, according to the promotion.

Melendez (21-2) is on a seven-fight winning streak, most recently defeating Josh Thomson in a rubber match in May.

Healy (28-16) comes into the title challenge winning five consecutive bouts. He is coming off of a victory over Mizuto Hirota just a couple weeks ago in Portland, Ore. and has been calling for the fight ever since.

Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy will air on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET (delayed on the West Coast). The preliminary bouts air on Showtime Extreme at 8 p.m. ET. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday, July 28.

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  • b-soc

    Gilbert Melendez – the man who has to keep winning to remain significant. One loss and he will never get the momentum back without going to the UFC. Based on just about everyone outside the UFC who has come in and fizzled out (most hyped fighters, most recent Lombard), I have issues with anyone outside the UFC in the rankings. I know they are MMA rankings but the UFC competition is leagues above all other organizations.

  • Mario

    Lame fight.

    But with that said, Gilbert better not take Pat so lightly. This is a huge opportunity for Healy. He’s gonna make the most of it.

    Hopefully it’s a good fight.

  • pooby

    Gilbert’s last fight with Thompson sucked and Gilbert apologized, saying it was a hard fight for him to get motivated for.

    If he really believes he’s good enough to be (or beat) the UFC LW champ, he needs to find that motivation and absolutely crush someone like Healy. A close fight won’t cut it.

  • chuckalugk

    Easy money for Gilbert. Healy’s record is horrible for someone fighting for a title…plus Healy’s last fight was super boring. He doesn’t have anything for Gilbert.

  • homerwilson

    Healy isn’t in Gilbert’s class. No one will watch this mismatch. Healy is an average fighter limited in skills with little fan appeal. healy is the Sara kaufman of MMA for men. A dull boring fighter. terrible fight I’ll watch reruns or commercials.

  • alhmiel

    Rousey would be a better opponent than Healy. Draw more fans also. healy is a bum.