Strikeforce CEO: No Melendez vs. Thomson 4, Healy could be next in lightweight line
Former Strikeforce lightweight champ Josh Thomson was apparently acting as his own PR agent when he said Gilbert Melendez would be offered a fourth fight against him.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker on Saturday splashed cold water on that idea at the post-event press conference for "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy."
"That fight is not going to happen," Coker told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I know Josh, and he's an interesting character sometimes. Good guy, but that fight is not going to be offered to Josh."
"Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" took place Saturday at Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore. The event's main card aired live on Showtime, while preliminary-card fights aired on Showtime Extreme.
While fans apparently won't see another five rounds between the lightweights, Coker didn't bat down the possibility of another challenge in wait for Melendez, who defended his title a fourth time in May in a rubber match with Thomson.
That possibility is Team Quest product Pat Healy (28-16 MMA, 6-1 SF), who Thomson (19-5 MMA, 10-2 SF) said was on deck should Melendez (21-2 MMA, 11-1 SF) turn him down. Healy was victorious over DEEP champion Mizuto Hirota (14-5-1 MMA, 0-1 SF) on the event's preliminary-card.
Healy struggled early in the fight, but upped his offensive output to earn a unanimous decision. Coker said the win puts him in line to fight Melendez.
"Healy definitely increased his stock tonight, and I think that we're going to go back and talk to (Strikeforce matchmaker) Sean (Shelby), but I think that you will see that fight," he said. "But it's not confirmed yet."
Healy said Shelby has hinted his next fight could be Melendez, but wasn't ready to sign off on the opportunity. He is, however, ready to take his due.
"Everybody acted like I was just going to roll through [Hirota]. He's a champ over in Japan, he's always done well against people who try to take him down.
"It was frustrating trying to convince people how hard of a fight this was going to be. I think I deserve a title shot. I think I earned it. I'm ready for Gil. All they have to do is give it to me."
Gilbert Melendez is gonna keep walking through everyone in Strikeforce, jesus i hope Strikeforce gets closed
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