Just over one month ago, I wrote a blog noting how Strikeforce lightweight Pat Healy was getting screwed over royally by Gilbert Melendez dropping out of their scheduled fight at the last Strikeforce event. Unfortunately for Healy, it’s happened all over again, as it has been announced that replacement Jorge Masvidal has done the same. Rather than re-create the wheel, I figured I would show exactly how Healy’s being screwed over this time is similar to the last by revising the previous blog with the new information:
Brazilian American news outlet Tatame MMA Junkie has reported that the shoulder back injury that previously sidelined Strikeforce lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez contender Jorge Masvidal will not be recovered in time for him to headline fight at the promotion’s January 12 event against challenger Patrick Healy. With rumors circulating that this will be the final Strikeforce event, it would appear as though Melendez Masvidal will be able to head to the UFC as one of Strikeforce’s final lightweight kingpin contenders, and Healy will never get his hard-earned shot to dethrone him challenge for the belt. MelendezMasvidal should be able to transfer to the UFC with no problem, as it is a move that fans have been calling for since Strikeforce first came under the Zuffa umbrella. In fact, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Melendez will either get an immediate UFC title shot or need only one win to get one. In all honesty, this is arguably the best case scenario for Melendez Masvidal, because the potential bout with Healy was high risk, low reward. Due to Healy’s lack of name recognition, a Melendez Masvidal loss would considerably cool any thoughts of an immediate title shot featured bout in the octagon.
The opposite couldn’t be any more true for Healy. A good showing in a fight intended to showcase
Melendez Masvidal would provide Healy a great boost in connection with his transfer to the UFC. Further, if Healy could have pulled off the upset, Healy likely would have been thrust into a high-profile UFC debut, and he would forever be known as the de facto last champion in the long and occasionally storied history of Strikeforce.
Instead, now Healy will enter the UFC as a relative unknown to the casual fan, and will potentially get lost quickly in the shark tank that is the UFC lightweight division. Looking at the current UFC roster, it is hard to see the UFC immediately putting Healy in there with any of the top 10 in the division. That is not to say that I don’t think Healy could beat any of the better lightweights in the UFC, as I think he is wildly underrated. The problem is in the perception, and his lack of name recognition. Because of this, I find it hard to believe that Healy will be given a name opponent in his UFC debut. It seems more likely that he will be buried on a Fuel TV card against another up-and-comer in the division.
Hopefully the UFC will reward Healy with something more than that, and give him the chance to make the big splash that has now been taken away from him
twice thrice due to Gilbert Melendez and Jorge Masvidal being hurt.