With Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez out with injury, lightweights Jorge Masvidal and Pat Healy are expected to meet at “Strikeforce: Champions.” Healy had been set to face Melendez twice before a shoulder injury sidelined him both times.
MMAJunkie first reported the matchup.
Masividal has only fought once since losing to Melendez last December at “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal.” Masvidal defeated Justin Wilcox via split decision “Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy.” The win improved him to 3-1 since joining Strikeforce. Masvidal notably holds a win over Healy’s twin brother Ryan.
Healy had earned his Strikeforce title shot the hard way, notching five straight hard-fought victories en route to his title shot versus Melendez. With Melendez out and Strikeforce reportedly folding, Healy will look to make a good impression versus Masvidalto gain favor in the UFC.
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 prior to the November show. The card will be headlined by welterweight champion Nate Marquardt facing Tarec Saffiedine and Strikeforce Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier taking on Dion Staring.