May 19, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Gilbert Melendez enters to fight Josh Thomson (not pictured) during the lightweight bout of the Strikeforce World Grand Prix at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
Here we go again.
Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez suffered an injury in preparation for his title defense against Pat Healy on Sat., Sept. 29, 2012, in Sacramento, California. Because he was forced to pull out, Showtime elected not to air the card, causing the promotion to cancel it altogether.
From the press release:
STRIKEFORCE® announced this evening that its event planned for Saturday, Sept. 29 at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, Calif. has been cancelled. STRIKEFORCE lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, who was set to defend his title against Pat Healy, sustained an injury in training that forced his withdrawal from the card.
Without the Melendez-Healy title bout, SHOWTIME®, which determines which fights are televised on the premium network, decided that it would not air Saturday's scheduled 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. "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."
Refunds for tickets purchased are available at point of sale.
This situation is obviously different from that of UFC 151, which was scheduled to be broadcast on pay-per-view on Sept. 1 but was cancelled by the promotion just eight days prior due to losing its headliner.
Here, Strikeforce doesn't really have the option to bump its co-main event bout up and push forward because, as Coker said, they don't have an outlet to air the event. Sad? Most definitely, but it's hard to blame Showtime for not wanting to air the card once the major star of the show was forced to bow out.
Here's what the rest of the card looked like:
Main Card (Showtime):
Preliminary Card (Showtime Extreme):
205 lbs.: Mike Kyle vs. Dion Staring
155 lbs.: Jorge Gurgel vs. Mizuto Hirota
170 lbs.: Nah-Shon Burrell vs. Yuri Villefort
135 lbs.: Amanda Nunes vs. Cat Zingano
155 lbs.: Estevan Payan vs. Michael Bravo
Tough break for all of the above but there are still a few open slots left on the "Cormier vs. TBA" event scheduled for Nov. 3. Assuming, of course, that one doesn't get cancelled too, though it has a middleweight championship bout in support of the thrilling main event pitting Daniel Cormier against the always game TBA.