Report: Gilbert Melendez Still Injured, out of January Fight with Pat Healy

Matthew Roth@mattroth512Featured ColumnistNovember 17, 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

What better time to bring some more bad news than the weekend of a UFC pay-per-view?

Strikeforce is currently planning to hold a major event in January with three title fights. Unfortunately, it seems as if one of those fights will be forced off the card as Gilbert Melendez is still injured and won't be ready in time to defend his lightweight title against Pat Healy.

Gilbert Melendez was originally scheduled to face Healy in Sacramento in the Fall. A shoulder injury forced Melenedez from the card and ultimately caused the entire event to be cancelled. The fight was then rescheduled for the January supercard, but it appears as if Melendez is still nursing that shoulder injury. 

The news was originally broken by Tatame and late Friday afternoon UFC President Dana White mentioned that Melendez won't be ready for the fight in a live fan chat with the Montreal Gazette

For those that have followed the sport, Melendez has constantly been mentioned whenever anyone discusses who the top lightweight is in the sport. His latest title run has fans gnashing at the bit with anticipation as a dream matchup between Melendez and UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will soon be possible. 

The loss of Melendez from the card is a big blow to Strikeforce. A lot of the appeal of the supercard was that so many talented fighters would be defending their championship belts. It was a great way for Strikeforce to shut its doors.

Hopefully Melendez can recover quickly and make his Octagon debut as soon as possible. He'll add a new wrinkle to the UFC's lightweight division.