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
For the second time in about a month, an injury has killed a Zuffa event on extremely late notice. Late Sunday night, Strikeforce sent out a press release that headliner and Lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez suffered an injury in training. Showtime assessed the situation and decided that the card wasn't worth broadcasting without a main event. Without the premium channel televising the card, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker decided that they had to cancel the show. The event was scheduled to take place this coming Saturday, September 29th in Sacramento, CA.
The cancellation will undoubtedly come as a sore blow to the other 19 fighters who expected to compete on Saturday night. Several Strikeforce fighters like Tim Kennedy and Lorenz Larkin have been very vocal about their earning ability with the company. In the wake of the Zuffa buyout, Strikeforce has become less reliable as an employer. The UFC took all of their biggest draws and cut their schedule in half. With significantly less eyes on the company sponsors are wary about backing their fighters. Now, they can't even guarantee that one of their shows will air after a single injury. Time will tell how this will effect the future of the Strikeforce promotion.
No word yet on the injury or recovery time, but Melendez did send a message to his fans on Twitter:
Want to say sorry to all my fans and supporters of @strikeforce for not being able to compete. Injured myself early last week. Bummer...— Gilbert Melendez (@GilbertMelendez) September 24, 2012