Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson will be forced to pull out of his highly anticipated rematch with Gilbert Melendez because of complications stemming from a broken leg he suffered in April. Japanese superstar Mitsuhiro Ishida has agreed to face “El Nino” just two weeks before the fight.
Strikeforce Director of Communications Mike Afromowitz confirmed the information with MMAWeekly.com on Thursday afternoon. The bright side is that it will probably remain a 5Round affair as Melenedez’ interim strap will be up for grabs.
Thomson mentioned on Monday that because of the nagging healing process, he hasn’t been able to properly train for his highly anticipated rematch against Melendez, the man he jacked the strap from at “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson” in June of 2008.
Although he was talking as if he was going to meet his August 15th appointment, it was reported that Strikeforce was already in the process of finding a replacement to meet Melendez inside the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
Ishida, a one-time Strikeforce employee, is one of Japan’s most electrifying 155-pounders. He has won 12 of his last 15 scraps, which inlcudes a win over Melendez at “Yarennoka” on New Year’s Eve 2007.
Ishida recently suffered a TKO loss to Mizuto Hirota at Shooto Tradition Final this past May.
Showtime’s “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg” broadcast will be headlined by the highly anticipated Gina Carano vs. Cris “Cyborg” Santos bout. The ladies will battle to become Strikeforce’s first-ever 145-pound women’s champion.