Cesar Gracie Hopes Gilbert Melendez Can Avoid Surgery

photo by Strikeforce

Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez separated his shoulder last month while training with Jake Shields. As a result, he was forced to withdraw from defending his title against Pat Healy on September 29th, which led to the cancellation of the event.

While everyone had hoped that would be the only cancellation Strikeforce would suffer this year, the November card set to headline Daniel Cormier was also cancelled. Since the 2nd cancellation in a row, Strikeforce CEO, Scott Coker has promised the promotion will deliver a stacked card in January 2013.

Fans will most likely look forward to Strikeforce stars like Luke Rockhold, Cormier and Melendez to be featured on it. Melendez’s head coach, Cesar Gracie, spoke with Tatame.com, a Brazilian news source, to update the lightweight champion’s status since his injury. (Note: The original article was in Portuguese. The quotes have been translated.)

“I’ve been with Gilbert this week. He received the result of the MRI and hopefully will not need surgery. He will probably go through a lot of physical therapy, which he has been doing. I do not know when he comes back, but he will as soon as possible and he would like to face Pat Healy, because that was the fight he had in mind before he got hurt.”

Gracie also said he wouldn’t be surprised if the UFC came calling soon if Strikeforce folds.

“It seems that he will come back to Strikeforce, but with the recent history the organization may end. And to tell you the truth, we do not know what will happen yet. A lot is depending on Showtime. I hope Strikeforce will continue, but if not, I can see Gilbert going to the UFC sooner than expected. Melendez still has four fights on his Strikeforce contract, but you have to remember that the UFC owns Strikeforce, so it does not matter much. If they want him to migrate to the UFC, they can do it anytime.”

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