When Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez pulled out of a January 12 bout with Pat Healy due to injury, questions began springing up regarding whether the organization planned to find a replacement for “El Nino” or would instead look at cancelling the card as they did in September under similar circumstances. Fortunately, it appears Strikeforce is going with the first option.
Though not officially announced, MMAJunkie is reporting that Jorge Masvidal will slide into the vacancy created by Melendez’s withdrawal, citing “sources close to the event”. It is unknown where the bout will be placed on the show’s lineup though it seems likely to make the main broadcast.
The 23-7 Masvidal has won three of his last four fights including victories over Justin Wilcox and K.J. Noons. He has also notched past success against the likes of Billy Evangelista, Yves Edwards, and Joe Lauzon.
Healy (28-16) has come out with his hand raised in five straight fights. He was last seen outpointing Mizuto Hirota in July.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE