Strikeforce Champion Gilbert Melendez to Meet Pat Healy on September 29

Andrew SaundersCorrespondent IIJuly 25, 2012

May 19, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Gilbert Melendez (right) fights Josh Thomson (left) during the lightweight bout of the Strikeforce World Grand Prix at HP Pavilion.  Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

In a press release obtained by BR MMA, Strikeforce has named an opponent for longtime champion Gilbert Melendez. 

"There’s no doubt that Gilbert Melendez is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, but he’s facing a tough test when he defends the Strikeforce lightweight title against Pat Healy in Sacramento,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said. “Pat has been around the sport a long time and has put together an impressive winning streak. This is the biggest fight of his life and he doesn’t want to waste this opportunity.”

Melendez has been considered a top lightweight ever since he systematically shut down world-ranked Shinya Aoki in 2010. Since winning the belt, Melendez has successfully defended six times under the Strikeforce banner.

On July 14, Healy extended his winning streak to five when he secured a unanimous decision victory over Mizuto Hirota. "Bam Bam" holds wins over Carlos Condit, Dan Hardy and Paul Daley, and is considered to be the only challenger remaining in the Strikeforce lightweight division.

Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy will take place on Saturday, September 29 and features heavyweight sensation Daniel Cormier in the co-main event. The press release specifically states that Cormier's opponent will be announced in the next few days.

Cormier's final fight in the organization is highly anticipated, as there is no way of knowing what caliber of opponent that Zuffa will provide to him in the final heavyweight fight for the organization.

With the rumor that Josh Barnett might also be competing on this card, this is shaping up to be one of the better events that Strikeforce has produced since the Zuffa takeover.

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