A planned fight between Strikeforce world lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (13-1) and challenger Jorge Masvidal (13-2) has been scratched from the March 29 Strikeforce/EliteXC show.
Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Masvidal injured his shin during this past weekend's "Strikeforce at the Dome" show, which prompted the cancellation of next month's fight with Melendez.
Masvidal scored a unanimous-decision victory over Ryan Healy at Saturday's event, which took place at the Tacoma Dome in the state of Washington's first-ever Strikeforce show.
Strikeforce officials are currently on the search for a replacement to fight Melendez. Although the event is headlined by a highly marketable fight between Strikeforce world middleweight champion Frank Shamrock and Cung Le, Melendez had been considered one of the night's other top draws.
The Melendez-Masvidal fight was first reported by fiveouncesofpain.com's Sam Caplan in January.
Melendez won Strikeforce's world lightweight title (Josh Thomson is Strikeforce's U.S. lightweight champ) with a win over Clay Guida in June 2006. After 13 consecutive victories to start his career, he suffered his first loss in December at the "Yarennoka!" New Year's Eve show in Japan. Mitsuhiro Ishida edged the 25-year-old for a close but unanimous decision victory.
Masvidal, an American Top team product, had earned the title shot after success in BodoFIGHT and Strikeforce. Saturday's victory pushed his current win streak to seven fights. He had previously scored victories over UFC fighters Joe Lauzon, Yves Edwards, Steve Berger and Brian Geraghty.
Masvidal was a recent guest on TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), an MMAjunkie.com content partner, and said the injury would keep him from training properly for the five-round fight with Melendez.
"Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Cung Le" airs on Showtime and takes place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.