Forget about a crossover bout against BJ Penn or Anthony Pettis, Gilbert Melendez’s (Pictured) next opponent will be a familiar foe. On Monday, it was announced Melendez will defend his lightweight crown against Josh Thomson at “Strikeforce: Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament Final.”
The trilogy takes place May 19th inside HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
Melendez has rattled off six straight wins and bumped his record to 20-2 following December’s contest against Jorge Masvidal. Most believe he is the planet’s top 155-pounder not competing in the UFC.
Thomson earned his top contender status by posting a unanimous decision victory over K.J. Noons last month.
“The Punk” initially took Melendez’s Strikeforce title back in January of 2008, but “El Niño” stormed back to reclaim the strap in their December 2009 rematch.
A light heavyweight affair between Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and Mike Kyle was also reported for the the event.
Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier will headline the festivities by meeting in the finals of the Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Showtime will broadcast the main card.
Here are the athletes expected to appear in the show:
Gian Villante vs. Derrick Mehmen
Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante vs. Mike Kyle
Josh Thomson vs. Gilbert Melendez (Strikeforce Lightweight Champion)
Heavyweight Grand Prix Finals:
Josh Barnett vs. Daniel Cormier