Gilbert Melendez hurt; event nixed

Updated: September 24, 2012, 11:26 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

A Strikeforce event scheduled for Sept. 29 in Sacramento has been canceled due to a right shoulder separation suffered by main event participant Gilbert Melendez.

Melendez had been set to defend his lightweight title against Pat Healy.

"I injured it, I think it was (last week) Tuesday, during some MMA sparring," Melendez said. "It happened during a wrestling clinch with Jake (Shields).

"When I hit the ground there wasn't any pain, but I felt an adjustment to my shoulder and I knew something was not in place, I knew something was not right."

Melendez said he does not need surgery and that the injury will be re-evaluated Tuesday.

In a statement released late Sunday, Strikeforce officials indicated the decision to cancel the entire event was made when its television partner, Showtime Network, opted not to broadcast the event without Melendez.

"On Friday night Strikeforce informed us that Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez had sustained an injury and would not be able to compete in their Saturday, September 29 card," Showtime said in a statement issued Monday. "Without our headline fighter and main event or a marquee undercard, we reluctantly informed Strikeforce that we could not continue with plans for the telecast."

In all, 20 fighters were expected to compete in Sacramento.

"When Showtime informed us that it would not be airing the event, we made the difficult decision to cancel Saturday's card in Sacramento," said Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker.

"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."

It marks the second time this month an event promoted by Zuffa, parent company to UFC and Strikeforce, has been canceled.

The UFC was forced to cancel its UFC 151 pay-per-view on the date of Sept. 1 due to similar circumstances.

Light heavyweight contender Dan Henderson withdrew from the main event due to injury and champion Jon Jones turned down a replacement fight against Chael Sonnen on eight days notice.

Injuries have hit both fight promotions hard in recent months. The next Strikeforce event, scheduled for Nov. 3, is seeking a replacement for its main event due to an injury to heavyweight Frank Mir. A UFC 153 event set to take place next month in Brazil lost both its main and co-main event in recent weeks because of injuries to Jose Aldo and Quinton Jackson.

Information from ESPN.com's Franklin McNeil was used in this report.