When all is said and done, Gilbert Melendez suffering a shoulder injury may have been the first domino knocking over the rest that ultimately leads to the cancellation of Strikeforce as a mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, at least in its current incarnation with a Showtime broadcast deal.
Or maybe his injury was just that, another injury, and he'll be back to Strikeforce business as usual.
When he does return, which could be sooner than expected, he wants to fight Pat Healy, who he was scheduled to square off against back on Sept. 29, 2012, in Sacramento before he popped his shoulder out. That's according to Cesar Gracie, who told Tatame (via Bloody Elbow) as much, as well as revealing Melendez's recovery process:
"I've been with Gilbert this week. He received the result of the MRI and hopefully will not need surgery. He will probably go through a lot of physical therapy, which he has been doing. I do not know when he comes back, but he will as soon as possible and he would like to face Pat Healy, because that was the fight he had in mind before he got hurt."
Good news, no doubt, but what promotion will Melendez come back to? Scott Coker has spoke of having him compete on a planned January mega-card but there's still doubt over whether or not that will actually come to fruition.
Gracie would go on to tell Tatame they don't mind either way. Melendez will fight for Strikeforce or he'll fight for the UFC. Either way, he'll be fighting and he hopes he'll be fighting Healy.