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Tag: Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy

KJ Noons vs. Ryan Couture Added to ‘Strikeforce: That’s All, Folks’ on Jan. 12


(Alternate titles for the event include “Strikeforce: All’s Well That Enswell” and ”Strikeforce: Operation Frequent Wind. / Photo via Showtime Sports.)

Strikeforce continues to blow its talent wad for what might be the last event of its existence. As MMAJunkie reported on Friday, a compelling lightweight battle between KJ Noons vs. Ryan Couture has been added to January 12th lineup, and will likely take place on the Showtime Extreme-televised preliminary card.

Since coming up short against Nick Diaz during their Strikeforce welterweight title fight in October 2010, Noons has gone 1-2 at lightweight, most recently dropping a unanimous decision to Josh Thomson at the Tate vs. Rousey card in March. Still, his sharp boxing and significant experience edge could make him a very tough match for Couture, who is riding a three-fight win streak. Couture won a split-decision over Joe Duarte in his last Strikeforce appearance at Rockhold vs. Kennedy, and was most recently spotted looking at a paint-clad Natasha Wicks with an expression that seemed to say, “You’re hot and everything, but my dad’s already manhandled you, so I don’t know.”

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GAME-CHANGER: Ronda Rousey Becomes the UFC’s First Female Fighter; Strikeforce to Fold After January 12th Title Tripleheader

Two pieces of related news broke last night that have massive implications for the future of MMA. First, Strikeforce superstar Ronda Rousey has reportedly become the first female fighter to join the UFC, and will immediately be crowned the UFC’s 135-pound women’s champion. The news was broken by TMZ, and confirmed by MMAFighting with sources close to the promotion, although neither the UFC nor Rousey have released an official statement. No word on Rousey’s promotional debut date or opponent, though her old pal Miesha Tate will apparently be a part of the UFC’s budding women’s roster as well.

It’s a historic moment for the sport, and one that’s surprising in how quickly it came together. In less than two years, we went from women will “never” be in the UFC, to women’s MMA is “absolutely going to happen” in the UFC, and much of the credit for that can be given to Rousey herself, whose nasty grappling and dude-in-a-beautiful-body appeal charmed UFC president Dana White into evolving his opinion.

Clearly, the promotion can make money off of the former Olympic medalist. The question is, who is she going to fight, and exactly how committed is the UFC to women’s MMA? Will the UFC be doing its best to fill out multiple weight divisions and regularly put female fighters on its cards, or is this just going to be the Ronda Rousey Show, with “Rowdy” armbarring whoever they can find to fight her, in relatively meaningless exhibitions three times a year? More details are expected to be announced early next week, which may shed some more insight on the UFC’s longer-term goals with their new acquisition.

And that brings us to the second bit of major news, which might even be more well-received, considering how long we’ve been begging for it

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September 29th Strikeforce Card Canceled After Gilbert Melendez Suffers Training Injury


(Welcome, gentlemen. We’ve been waiting for you.)

For the second consecutive month, Zuffa has canceled an event on very short notice due to one of the headliners pulling out with an injury. As confirmed in a press release on UFC.com, Gilbert Melendez suffered an injury in training, and was forced to withdraw from his lightweight title fight against Pat Healy at this Saturday’s Strikeforce show in Sacramento. As a result, the 9/29 card has been scratched altogether.

As with UFC 151, the relative weakness of the “Melendez vs. Healy” supporting card was surely a factor in the event’s cancelation. But what makes this situation unique is that Showtime essentially made the decision, not Strikeforce. From the press release:

Without the Melendez-Healy title bout, SHOWTIME®, which determines which fights are televised on the premium network, decided that it would not air Saturday’s scheduled event.

“When SHOWTIME informed us that it would not be airing the event, we made the difficult decision to cancel Saturday’s card in Sacramento,” STRIKEFORCE CEO Scott Coker said. “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.”

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