The long-rumored, and highly anticipated, lightweight title unification bout between current champ Josh Thomson and interim champion Gilbert Melendez has been set for December 19th inside the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
The bout has been confirmed by multiple news outlets, including GracieFighter.com, the official website run by Melendez’ trainer, Cesar Gracie.
“Gilbert Melendez will be fighting Josh Thomson in Strikeforce’s December 19th show at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA. The anticipated rematch had been cancelled twice previously with Thomson citing injury for withdrawing on both occasions.
Melendez has 2 losses on his record. Once against Mitsuhiro Ishida and the other against Josh Thomson. He later avenged the Ishida loss by a resounding tko victory and will be looking to do the same against Thomson.”
The two first met in June of 2008 when Thomson jacked Melendez’ strap by taking a unanimous decision with relative ease. Thompson has fought only once since then, defeating Ashe Bowman in a non-title affair in September of 2008.
Thomson has been on the mend because of complications stemming from a broken leg he suffered in April, that was the cause of the second cancellation between the two sluggers. Due to his extended leave, the organization felt the need to manufacture an interim title and satisfy the other division’s top dogs.
Melendez has fought twice since posting his disappointing performance against Thomson, having captured the interim tag by taking out Rodrigo Damm in April, then successfully defended his “title” against the aforementioned Ishida in August.