You are here: Home > News & Rumors > Strikeforce Card Cancelled After Gilbert Melendez Injury
Posted on September 24, 2012 by Jack Thurman
Dana White is in serious meltdown mode and it’s not going to get any better. First it was a dismal UFC 152 card held before a shocking number of empty seats at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. Until the past year it was assumed that Canadian fans would pack the house for any UFC card. Unfortunately that’s not the case and the formerly compliant Canadian media wrote several articles talking about how the UFC is swirling down the tubes. Now Zuffa has been forced to cancel next Saturday’s Strikeforce card following an injury to lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.
At least Dana has a ready made scapegoat for this cancellation–without Melendez headlining the card Showtime informed Zuffa that they had no interest in airing the event. It’s hard to blame them–Zuffa has treated the entire Strikeforce promotion like the proverbial ‘red headed step child’ since they acquired the promotion and Melendez was the only fighter on the card approximating any sort of star power. And given the utter lack of interest in MMA among the mainstream audience at this point Showtime likely figured they were better served airing a rerun of ‘Dexter’.
There’s some conspiracy theory speculation that it was Zuffa’s idea to pull the plug on the event due to poor ticket sales and the Melendez injury is merely a ‘cover story’ so they don’t have to admit that the demand for the product is flat lining. Zuffa tried as hard as they could to distance themselves from the fiasco, even leaving it to the figurehead Strikeforce president Scott Coker to break the news.
MMA betting enthusiasts will have the UFC on Fuel on Saturday, though the event is being aired on tape delay in the US. The actual start time is 10:05 AM Pacific with the event. The MMA betting lines on the Gilbert Melendez title defense against Pat Healy suggested a serious mismatch–Melendez was priced as high as -1100 at some sportsbooks. By way of comparison, Jon Jones was a -900 favorite over Vitor Belfort in his UFC 152 title defense this past weekend. The UFC on Fuel event is headlined by a more competitive fight between Stefan Struve and Stipe Miocic. Miocic is a -240 UFC betting favorite with takeback on Struve +200.