Gilbert Melendez continues to push for the best lightweights in the world to face him in the Strikeforce cage. However, Melendez will not be facing someone from the UFC in his next title defense, instead defending his lightweight title against Pat Healy in the main event of the September 29 card from Sacramento, California airing on Showtime.

Melendez (21-2) successfully defeated Josh Thomson earlier this year, improving to 11-1 in Strikeforce. “El Nino” has defended his Strikeforce belt four times and has won each of his last seven fights.

Healy (28-16) is one of the most veteran fighters thus far to compete against Melendez, having gone 6-1 in Strikeforce and 8-1 in his last nine fights overall. “Bam Bam” topped Mizuto Hirota earlier this month to secure his status as a top contender in the division. He also holds past victories against the likes of Carlos Condit, Paul Daley, and Dan Hardy.

Melendez confirmed news of the fight on his Twitter page posting, “It’s official I will be defending my title Sept. 29 in Sacramento Ca. against Pat Healy. Game on!”


MMATraining Take: While this is no easy fight for Melendez, he shouldn’t have too much trouble taking apart Healy. Thomson caused Melendez fits, but that’s because Thomson knows Melendez better than just about every other fighter out there. Look for Melendez to really showcase his skills against Healy.