Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez suffered a shoulder injury in training recently, knocking him out of a planned main event fight with Pat Healy.
The two were expected to square off this coming Saturday night. Strikeforce, after hearing Showtime would not air the card minus Melendez, decided to scrap the event completely.
“What happened was I separated my shoulder,” said Melendez, on MMAWeekly Radio. “I was just going with Jake Shields, a tough day of sparring, and we’re both fighting for takedowns, defending it hard and we both just landed all of our weight up on my shoulder. The impact separated my shoulder.”
Melendez said the timing of the injury – less than two weeks from the fight – was too close for him to fully recover.He continued to practice, hoping to heal up, but informed Strikeforce this past Friday he would not be able to compete.
News of the cancellation of the entire card shocked Melendez. This is the second Zuffa event this month to be cancelled from the schedule.
I was bummed for the fighters. I’m bummed for the show, I’m bummed for Showtime. I weighed everything out right before I pulled out like the fans are going to be disappointed, then all of a sudden I cancelled the paychecks of a lot of fighters; that bums me out. I’m partially responsible for that, not all of it, but my injury is partially responsible for that; it sucks.
Melendez said he will be re-evaluated in five weeks, and hopes to face Healy when he is cleared to return to action.
Photo credit: Showtime