(And to think, if I hadn’t accidentally called Dana “Baldfather” during that interview, I’d be fighting Ben Henderson right about now.)
When we first heard word that Strikeforce was considering booking a completely unnecessary fourth match between lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thompson, we more or less saw it as a sign that Strikeforce’s lightweight division, not unlike their heavyweight, welterweight, and pretty much every other division, was simply biding its time until the UFC inevitably absorbed it. We were elated to find out shortly thereafter that Thompson was making the whole thing up, possibly under the belief that if the rumor gained enough steam, Scott Coker would sit idly by and let the match happen again and again until Thompson finally emerged victorious.
Fortunately, someone had good enough sense to book Melendez a fight against top contender Pat Healy on September 29th instead, which will make for Melendez’s fifth title defense should he be successful. Although Healy can’t hold a candle to Thompson as far as turning in exciting performances goes (Thompson’s snoozer against K.J. Noons outstanding), it will be nice to see Melendez finally face off against the only other lightweight in the division who stands at least a snowball’s chance in Hell of beating him.
Strikeforce made the announcement earlier today via its official Twitter account:
We’re coming to Sacramento, and we’re bringing
@GilbertMelendez @BamBamHealy & @dc_mma with us…http://www.strikeforce.com/news/SF4-pressrelease-news … Tix on sale this Sat!
Healy has been playing the role of hype train derailer for his past few fights now, submitting prospects Maximo Blanco and Caros Fodor in back-to-back contests before most recently earning a hard fought unanimous decision over a guy that is best known for becoming Shinya Aoki’s eternal bitch at K1 Dynamite!!! 2009. Now 6-1 in his past 7 Strikeforce appearances, Healy has more than earned his shot at Melendez in a division that has less than 5 contenders still remaining.
Who you got?