As expected, an electric lightweight scrap between former champion Josh Thomson and Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante has been officially announced for “Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons” on October 9th inside the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
“Fans expect me to fight guys the caliber of JZ and so do I. I want to fight all the best lightweights,’’ Thomson stated. “Right now Strikeforce has a bunch of top fighters at 155 pounds. There’s always going to be talk about a third fight with Gilbert, but that will come when the time is right.
“In the meantime, I need to keep taking it one fight at a time and I need to continue to win. There are plenty of great fights out there for me and this is definitely one of them.’’
“The Punk” owns an impressive 17-3 professional record and is 9-1 in his last 10 outings. Unfortunately for the soon-to-be 32-year-old, his sole blemish in that run cost him his Strikeforce crown. Despite injuring his ribs during his last scrap against Pat Healy, Thomson managed to walk away with a 3rdRound submission victory.
Not unlike Thomson, Cavalcante has had to fight through injuries the last few years, most significantly a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee that sidelined him for several months. Now that the talented Brazilian is healthy once again, he’s anxious to end his sabbatical.
“I train very hard against very good guys every day,’’ said Cavalcante. “I think I could have performed better in my last fight, but it was my first in a long time and ring rust was a factor. But, now, I feel great and I’m excited to be able to get back to doing what I love to do.’
“I’m happy to be 100 percent healthy and fighting in America. Once the bell sounds, it will just be Thomson and I in there. This is a tremendous opportunity to re-establish myself against a former world champion. The fight is very important. The winner could be fighting for the Strikeforce title.’’
He’s coming off a split decision victory over Katsunori Kikuno last July 10 at Dream.15 in Japan. It was JZ’s first start in nearly 13½ months, the longest layoff of his career.
Here are the fighters expected to participate in the Showtime broadcast:
Matt Lindland vs. Luke Rockhold
Josh Thomson vs. Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante
Marloes Coenen vs. Sarah Kaufman (Womens 135-Pound Champion)
KJ Noons vs. Nick Diaz