Jorge Masvidal Replaces Gilbert Melendez, Faces Pat Healy in Strikeforce

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Jorge Masvidal will step in to replace an injured Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez and fight Pat Healy at the next Strikeforce event on Jan. 12, according to sources.

Masvidal, who hasn’t fought since July, was last seen defeating Justin Wilcox at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy. The fight put him back in the win circle after dropping his bid for the Strikeforce lightweight title to the champion, Melendez, in December 2011.

Healy recently said that he’d prefer waiting for Melendez to heal from his injury so that the two can fight for the title. However, he also admitted that if a fight was offered to him, he’d have a hard time turning it down.

With the recent news that Strikeforce is planning on closing its doors after the January show, it’s unlikely that Healy would have the opportunity to wait for a Strikeforce fight with Melendez.

Enter Masvidal.

This is the second time Melendez had to bow out of a fight with Healy due to injury. The two were schedule to fight on the Sept. 29 Strikeforce card in Sacramento, Calif., but Melendez was hurt and the show was ultimately canceled.

Strikeforce has yet to make an official announcement regarding the fight, and was first to report it.

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