Gilbert Melendez, STRIKEFORCE® lightweight champion and top pound-for-pound fighter, will make his next title defense against veteran and red-hot number one contender Pat Healy, when STRIKEFORCE®: MELENDEZ vs. HEALY comes to Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 29. The main event, scheduled for five rounds, will air live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
“There’s no doubt that Gilbert Melendez is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, but he’s facing a tough test when he defends the STRIKEFORCE lightweight title against Pat Healy in Sacramento,” STRIKEFORCE CEO Scott Coker said. “Pat has been around the sport a long time and has put together an impressive winning streak. This is the biggest fight of his life and he doesn’t want to waste this opportunity.”
The co-main event will feature recently crowned STRIKEFORCE World Grand Prix Heavyweight champ and San Jose’s own, Daniel Cormier, returning to the cage to take on his next challenge, as he looks to keep his unbeaten streak intact and prove he truly is one of the best in the division. Cormier’s opponent will be announced in the coming days.
STRIKEFORCE®: MELENDEZ vs. HEALY will air live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast), while preliminary fights will be shown live on SHOWTIME EXTREME® at 8 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast). Additional fights scheduled for the event are expected to be released shortly.
Tickets for STRIKEFORCE®: MELENDEZ vs. HEALY, presented by Musclepharm®, go on sale to the general public on Saturday, July 28 at 10 a.m. PT and are priced at $125, $90, $65 and $40. Tickets are available at the Power Balance Pavilion Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, at Ticketmaster.com or 1-800-745-3000. Applicable service charges may apply.
UFC® Fight Club™ members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Friday, July 27 at 10 a.m. PT until 12 p.m. PT, via the website www.UFCFightClub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter and STRIKEFORCE Insider subscribers Friday, July 27, starting at 12 p.m. PT. To access this pre-sale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through www.UFC.com and the STRIKEFORCE Insider through www.STRIKEFORCE.com.
Winner of his last seven bouts and having not tasted defeat since 2008, Gilbert Melendez (fighting out of San Francisco, Calif. by way of Santa Ana, Calif.) returns to the STRIKEFORCE cage looking to cement his place as the world’s best 155-pound fighter. At 21-2, “El Niño” has career wins over fighters such as Josh Thomson, Clay Guida, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Shinya Aoki, Jorge Masvidal and Rodrigo Damm, the Cesar Gracie-trained fighter is more than ready to solidify his status as the division’s premiere fighter when he faces his toughest test to date on September 29 in Sacramento.
Following a unanimous decision victory over Mizuto Hirota on July 14 in his home state of Oregon to extend his winning streak to five, Pat Healy (fighting out of Portland, Ore.) secured a date with the STRIKEFORCE lightweight champ. At 30-15, the 28-year-old “Bam Bam” has racked up wins over marquee names like Carlos Condit, Dan Hardy and Paul Daley, and is currently riding a five-fight win streak that includes STRIKEFORCE victories over Caros Fodor and Maximo Blanco. Having fought his entire career for this opportunity, fans can expect fireworks when this grappling ace puts his skills to the test against the elite striking prowess of Melendez.
Two-time U.S. Olympic wrestler and current STRIKEFORCE World Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier (fighting out of San Jose, Calif.) meets his first opponent since defeating former UFC titleholder Josh Barnett in the finals of the heavyweight tournament last May. Since putting gold around his waist, the undefeated 10-0 AKA-trained fighter has vowed to prove he is as good as advertised and offered to fight anyone that’s put in front of him. “DC” owns additional decisive victories over Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Jeff Monson and Devin Cole and will look to use his superior wrestling ability to knock off yet another heavyweight foe.
For more information or the latest STRIKEFORCE news, visit www.strikeforce.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
About STRIKEFORCE® – www.strikeforce.com
Owned and operated by Forza, LLC, a subsidiary of Zuffa, LLC, which also owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship® brand, STRIKEFORCE® is a world-class mixed martial arts promotion based in Las Vegas, Nev. that currently holds live events annually across the United States. First established as a mixed martial arts entity in 2006, STRIKEFORCE now broadcasts its events live on SHOWTIME® and has produced two live, primetime events on the CBS Television Network. With a growing roster featuring the world’s elite competitors, STRIKEFORCE has cemented its place as a leader in providing quality mixed martial arts action.
About Showtime Networks Inc.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD™, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ HD, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ ON DEMAND. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution, which offers Smithsonian Channel™. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®.
About Maloof Sports & Entertainment (MS&E):
Maloof Sports & Entertainment includes the Sacramento Kings and Power Balance Pavilion. Owned by the Maloof family with long-term, local partners, the organization is committed to being a contributing member of the Sacramento community. Teaming up with local leaders and non-profit organizations to give back to those in need throughout the region, MS&E has donated more than $20 million in cash and in-kind donations to more than 200 charitable entities over 13 years of Maloof family ownership. For more information about Maloof Sports & Entertainment, please visit Kings.com, PowerBalancePavilion.com or call 916-928-0000.
Coming up next: UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera is live Saturday, Aug. 4 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles at 5 PM PT/8 PM ET. For more info on UFC on FOX or the UFC, visit www.UFC.com.