Strikeforce's Melendez to fight Healy

Updated: July 25, 2012, 2:34 PM ET
By Franklin McNeil | ESPN.com

Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez puts his title on the line Sept. 29 against top contender Pat Healy in Sacramento, Calif., the promotion announced on Wednesday.

"It's official," Melendez said on Twitter. "Game on!"

Melendez (21-2) makes his fifth defense of the title he unified in December 2009 with a unanimous decision over Josh Thomson. He is currently riding a seven-fight win streak.

Healy, a former welterweight, has compiled a 7-1 record since dropping to 155 pounds in March 2010. He has won five fights in a row and enters the cage against Melendez with a 28-16 professional record.

"Pat has been around the sport a long time and has put together an impressive winning streak," Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said. "This is the biggest fight of his life and he doesn't want to waste this opportunity.

Strikeforce 2011 heavyweight Grand Prix winner Daniel Cormier is slated to appear on the Sept. 29 card. The promotion has not yet named his opponent.

"(The injury) happened about 15 days ago, but we tried to work to see if I could keep fighting. But Friday was the final straw. I'm in physical therapy."

Palhares agreed to face Okami after Luiz Cane was forced to withdraw in June due to injury. Cane, a former light heavyweight, planned to make his 185-pound debut at UFC 150.

Okami (26-7) will now face Buddy Roberts on the card.

Roberts (12-2) was slated to fight Chris Camozzi at the Aug. 11 event. But an injury knocked Camozzi off the card.

Okami (26-7) will now face Buddy Roberts on the card.

Roberts (12-2) was slated to fight Chris Camozzi at the Aug. 11 event. But an injury knocked Camozzi off the card.