Strikeforce has announced that a lightweight title bout between Gilbert Melendez and Pat Healy has been scheduled for their January 12 card along with a heavyweight matchup between Daniel Cormier and Dion Staring. Rumors are also swirling that this will be the final Strikeforce card in the promotion’s history, with TMZ’s sports branch reporting that women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has joined the UFC.
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez was originally supposed to face Pat Healy at “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy” before Melendez was injured a week before the event and Showtime elected to cancel the event. Melendez has not dropped a fight since his 2008 loss to Josh Thomson. Healy has won his last five fights since his 2010 loss to the aforementioned Thomson.
Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier was supposed to face former UFC champion Frank Mir this past weekend before Mir was injured and the card canceled. Cormier will face Alistair Overeem’s former Golden Glory teammate Dion Staring, who has won his last seven fights.
The January event will take place at the home of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The arena was the original site for “Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir” before the event was canceled. The announced bouts will join the previously announced bouts with Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold facing Lorenz Larkin and welterweight champion Nate Marquardt facing Tarec Saffiedine. Other bout announcements for the card will likely be made in the coming weeks.