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Gilbert Melendez injury causes Strikeforce to cancel Saturday’s card

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez was hit with an injury just a week before he was scheduled to fight Pat Healy. He had to withdraw from the fight. Without Healy-Melendez, Showtime decided not to air the card. Without Showtime, Strikeforce canceled the event.

"When Showtime informed us that it would not be airing the event, we made the difficult decision to cancel Saturday's card in Sacramento," Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said via press release. "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."

This is the second major injury to hit Strikeforce recently. UFC heavyweight Frank Mir pulled out of his Nov. 3 bout with Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champ Daniel Cormier with an injury.

Healy told Bloody Elbow Radio that he was told he would not be fighting again until Melendez is healthy, and that he wasn't given the option to fight someone else.

"I'm like in a daze, still. I have to think about, if Gil's going to be out six months and I have to wait the whole time, I have to start making some plans to make money right now so I'm not in a situation where I have to make money right before training for a fight," Healy said.

Outside of Melendez Healy, Saturday's card featured:

• Guto Inocente vs. Gian Villante
• Caros Fodor vs. Josh Thomson
• Adriano Martins vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg
• Quinn Mulhern vs. Jorge Santiago
• Jorge Gurgel vs. Mizuto Hirota
• Amanda Nunes vs. Cat Zingano
• Mike Kyle vs. Dion Staring
• Nah-Shon Burrell vs. Yuri Villefort
• Michael Bravo vs. Estevan Payan

Those fighters didn't create enough firepower for Showtime. Perhaps a re-airing of the "Weeds" season finale will be enough for the network instead of a live sporting event.

This creates a problem for the Strikeforce fighters on the card. One of the complaints heard most often from Strikeforce fighters is that they don't fight enough. In 2012, Strikeforce has held just five fight events. With such infrequency, fighters have few chances to fight and make money from their fight purse and sponsors.

Outside the main event, Strikeforce has nine fights place. Though there is room on the Nov. 3 card, it won't be enough to accommodate every fighter. Plus, the fighters thought they were getting paid on Sept. 29, and best case scenario has them getting paid a month from now. Fighting is never an easy way to make a living, but cancelling cards in the last minute makes the job much harder.

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