As the summer months come to a close, the slight lull of action — both locally and beyond — begins to break way as several momentous fight cards and title bouts lay ahead in the near future.
Next Saturday night in Sacramento, airing on Showtime, there will be a lightweight title showdown in Strikeforce. Champion Gilbert Melendez is looking for his sixth title defense as he will face a stern test in the form of Oregon’s own Pat Healy.
Healy long has worked with the world renowned Team Quest in Gresham with Olympic medalist Matt Lindland. Healy’s mixed martial arts career budded from the local Full Contact Fighting Federation circuit to the bigger stages including the WEC, IFL and the UFC, before finding a consistent home under the Strikeforce banner.
Since moving to Strikeforce, Healy has accumulated six big wins, with his lone loss coming from perennial contender Josh Thomson. Healy most recently rattled off two big submission wins before a tough fought decision victory over Japanese DEEP champion Mizuto Hirota.
Defending champion Melendez has a similar spree of victories, winning seven of his past eight bouts in championship matches. Melendez’s lone loss also comes from Josh Thomson.
Given the experience in championship situations, many betting sites are listing Melendez as a heavy favorite over Healy, but don’t let that fool you. These fighters come from a strong wrestling background with well-developed striking and an arsenal of submissions. Fans can expect an all-out war in this match of veteran lightweights looking to solidify their position in the MMA world, so tune in and cheer on one of Oregon’s finest.
Valhalla Gala 9
When, where: Saturday at the Bossanova Ballroom (722 E Burnside) in Portland, doors open at 8 p.m.
Tickets: $15 at the door, or $10 online at BossanovaBallroom.com. Must be 21+ to enter.
Nuts and bolts: Portland’s premiere kickboxing group returns with another night of full-contact action. On the card will be a number of exhibition matches with gyms and fighters being represented from around the Pacific Northwest, and a lot of big action for a low price.
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