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Gilbert Melendez matched with Josh Thomson for May title-defense

Former Strikeforce lightweight champ Josh Thomson may have thought his previous performance was akin to excrement but it was apparently good enough in the eyes of some to earn “The Punk” a crack at current title-holder Gilbert Melendez’s belt. Thomson outpointed opponent K.J. Noons in a convincing though not particularly exciting effort a month ago at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey.

Strikeforce officials have confirmed the match-up’s addition to a May 19 card in San Jose also featuring Josh Barnett-Daniel Cormier facing off in the Grand Prix final. The bout marks the third fight in a series between Thomson-Melendez with things currently tied at one apiece.

The 19-4 Thomson is 3-0 in his last three appearances under the Strikeforce banner including victories over Pat Healy and Gesias Cavalcante. However, prior to the win over Noons the 33-year old lost a Unanimous Decision to Tatsuya Kawajiri in Japan and sat out for more than a year afterward due to injury.

Melendez hasn’t tasted defeat since falling to his friendly rival on the scorecards four years ago, racking up six consecutive wins with one involving success against Thomson in late 2009. “El Nino” holds other past triumphs over Kawajiri, Clay Guida, Shinya Aoki, and Jorge Masvidal.


  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Oh good, another rematch.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    woah, Strikeforce champion fights more than once per year shocker.

    I feel for Gilbert more than any other fighter right now

    guy has the potential to be number one in the world, but has been stifled in his prime by Strikeforce.

    He’d have been better off with Bellator or even Tachi at this stage

    i always hated people who slated Strikeforce, but since Zuffa took over it really has become pointless, structureless, and fighters are wasting their careers over there

  • Rece Rock says:

    When Gilbert signed the contract he knew how many fights he would be in SF for and he was already complaining before the contract extention about lack of contenders, so he knew what he was getting into… Gilbert screwed Gilbert.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    and point for Race

  • hindsightufuk says:

    why dyou always have to bring race into it?
    let a brother chill

  • MCM says:

    exactly right Rece. Gilbert could have and should have jumped ship before the buyout just like Shields did. So this is the best he’s gonna get.

  • trupert says:

    Hmm, do you think Strikeforce could bring in any top guys that for some odd reason UFC would not bring in? Looking at the Fightmatrix lightweight ranking, the top non-Zuffa and non-Bellator guys would be:
    Jadamba Narantungalag
    Antonio McKee
    Brian Cobb
    Mizuto Hirota
    Ronys Torres
    I don’t see any one guy here that would/should challenge Gilbert immediately, but maybe build some hype/momentum if you take four of these and (obviously don’t bill it this way) but do a quick 4-man tourney and the winner fights Gilbert.
    Gilbert has the Thomson fight then the Healy fight, then maybe Bobby Green or Payan will get some key wins and become a legitimate contender (or maybe Masvidal, Fodor or Wilcox) anyway, while Gilbert is doing that, this ‘unofficial’ tourney could be playing out and create a couple more quality opponents for Gilbert.
    I don’t know, I’m trying to make something out of nothing here!

  • Rece Rock says:

    Hey Gilbert’s next opponent could be Alverez If Eddie loses his fight to Aoki and Bellator low balls him during contract negotiations maybe he’d be desperate enough to entertain Short term SF offers in the hopes it would be a gateway to UFC and show time execs should be desperate enough to throw $$ at him even if it’s just for 2 fights… If Alverez loses to Aoki then the UFC certainly ain’t making a big offer if any offer at all to a former bellator champ on a 2 fight skid… But SF could use him and Zuffa can build him back up on the cheap before they throw him into the LW mix in UFC down the road.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Hang on. Gilbert signed the dotted line when Dream, M1 and a few others were helping SF out and SF was growing. There was also a prospect of a co pro with Bellator. All gone so ZUFFA screwed Gilbert. Dont give me this shit that he screwed himself when his circumstances have completely changed. The SF he signed with was the fastest growing MMA org in the world and he could fight in Japan or elsewhere if needed, SF is now a pointless dead end.

  • Rece Rock says:

    When SF & show time extended there contract a stipulation was that the remaining champs stay in tact and can’t jump over to UFC… DW was excited to get Melendez into the UFC LW fold if I remember correctly but it’s more important to keep SF on a showtime deal then to have one LW contender cross over into an already talent flooded weight class… the reason I say Gilbert screwed Gilbert was because him or Cesear Gracie were blinded by the $ and not thinking about how a long term multi year deal could effect his productivity and his career… nobody forced his hand.

    My memory fails me but I also believe he signed like a month before SF was already saying they were seeking a new investing partner because the San Jose guys were taking there $ and pursuing other shit… if you chose to sign with a struggling promotion for a long term multi year deal knowing there may be bumpy roads ahead then no one is to blame but you and your mgt.

  • MCM says:

    Let’s also not forget that before he signed that contract he wasn’t saying how great it is to co-promote or how wonderful it was that he could go fight in Japan, he was bitching about the lack of challengers in his division and that the only fight left for him outside of the UFC was a potential bout with Alverez. In fact, it was Gilbert that started the whole “potential” co pro with Bellator.
    Gilbert wanted to be the only big fish in a pond and it turned out to be a bad business move. Now he’s paying the consequences for that decision, just like everyone else that has ever made a bad business move in their lives/careers. He’ll finish out his contract and go from there.


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