Recent UFC lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz will welcome former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson back to the UFC in a lightweight affair slated for UFC on FOX 7, which is scheduled to take place on April 20 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
The UFC officially announced the bout this afternoon.
Thomson has not competed in the UFC since a three-fight stint that ended at UFC 49 in August 2004 when Thomson suffered a highlight-reel KO loss to Yves Edwards by way of a flying head kick.
A rubber match between Strikeforce lightweight title holder Gilbert Melendez and his chief rival, former champ Josh Thomson has been booked as the co-main event of Strikeforce's next event on May 19.
The promotion officially announced the event and bout today. The show will take place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California and willbe headlined by the finals of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix tournament featuring Josh Barnett against Daniel Cormier.
In addition, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker also announced today that a rematch between former light heavyweight champion Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante and Mike Kyle will take place as well as a meeting between Bobby Voelker and welterweight prospect Nah-Shon Burrell.
The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.
— Former Strikeforce light heavyweight title holder Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal has signed a new four-fight deal with Strikeforce, one day before his promotional contract was to expire following his bout against Lorenz Larkin tomorrow night. Lawal has posted a 3-1 record under the Strikeforce banner. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. [MMA Fighting]
— A lightweight clash between one-time EliteXC star K.J. Noons and former Strikeforce lightweight champ Josh Thomson is in the works for Strikeforce's planned event on March 3 in Columbus, Ohio. Both Noons and Thomson are said to have verbally agreed to the bout. [MMA Junkie]
Streaking welterweight prospect Jordan Mein will make his Strikeforce debut at the organization's September 10 event against seasoned veteran Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, of which a date and venue have yet to be announced.
Strikeforce officially announced the event and matchup this afternoon on Twitter, also confirming a trio of previously rumored bouts for the card, including Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza's next title defense against American Kickboxing Academy product Luke Rockhold.
In addition, former Strikeforce lightweight title holder Josh Thomson will welcome newcomer Maximo Blanco and former light heavyweight champ Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal will return to action for the first time in over a year to take on Roger Gracie.
Alistair Overeem. Photo courtesy of Showtime Sports.
The semifinal round of Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix tournament will reportedly take place at a yet-to-be-named location on September 10.
A pair of matchups pitting Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Josh Barnett against Sergei Kharitonov are what remain of the eight-man field.
According to MMAJunkie.com, four other bouts are also rumored for the card, including a Strikeforce middleweight title defense between champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Luke Rockhold as well as the promotional debut of Maximo Blanco, who will face Josh Thomson.
Scott Smith. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
NEW YORK – Can Scott “Hands Of Steel’’ Smith, aka “The Comeback Kid,’’ do it again?
On Saturday, June 26, at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., on Showtime, Smith will attempt to make it two consecutive victories over Cung Le in a middleweight (185 pounds) rematch of one of the most incredible Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) comeback victories of all-time.
The eagerly anticipated return bout between Smith (17-6), of Elk Grove, Calif., and Le (6-1), of San Jose, will take place on an already-stacked Strikeforce and M-1 Global fight card that features the world’s No. 1 heavyweight and pound-for-pound MMA fighter, Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko (31-1),against two-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion and top-ranked superstar Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum (13-4) in the main event.
Vitor Ribeiro. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
— Brazilian lightweight standout Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro has reportedly signed a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce. The promotion is expected to officially announce the signing shortly. While Ribeiro may actually still be under contract with DREAM, the two organizations share a talent-exchange program. Ribeiro returned to active competition earlier this year after an 18-month hiatus, defeating Katsuhiko Nagata and falling to Shinya Aoki thus far. [Sherdog.com]
—Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson will be sidelined until at least December after breaking his leg for the second time this year during training. The injury will now keep Thomson from a potential showdown against Gilbert Melendez at Strikeforce’s “Fedor vs. Rogers” event on November 7 in Chicago. According to Thomson, a return bout for him could be possible at a yet-to-be-announced event on December 19. [MMA Weekly]
Mitsuhiro Ishida. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
Josh Thomson has once again been forced to withdraw from a scheduled rematch against Gilbert Melendez.
The reigning Strikeforce lightweight champion will be replaced by Japanese wrestler Mitsuhiro Ishida, who will take on Gilbert Melendez, a man he once defeated, for the interim Strikeforce lightweight belt at the organization’s August 15 event in San Jose, California.
Rodrigo Damm. Photo courtesy of BodogFight.
BodogFight and Sengoku veteran Rodrigo Damm has reportedly been selected to replace an injured Josh Thomson against former PRIDE Fighting Championships standout Gilbert Melendez on Strikeforce’s upcoming “Shamrock vs. Diaz” card this weekend on Showtime.
From The Fight Network:
Stepping in for the injured Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson, “Alliance Jiu-Jitsu” standout Rodrigo Damm (8-2) will take on Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (14-2) at “Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz” on April 11 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
The Fight Network learned of the replacement matchup on Monday afternoon.
A native of Brazil, the 29-year-old Damm is looking to rebound from a first-round submission loss to Eiji Mitsuoka at “Sengoku: Fourth Battle” last August. The “BodogFight” veteran boasts wins over Jorge Masvidal, Johil de Oliveira and Kultar Gill. Damm will be making his debut for the California-based Strikeforce promotion as a late replacement for this Saturday’s lightweight tilt.
Damm is a great grappler, and has been know to fight above expectations at times, (see his win over Jorge Masvidal) but seems to fold under pressure and Melendez is likely to push a torrid pace during this fight. As long as Melendez doesn’t get too careless on his feet and avoids Damm’s submission attempts on the ground, he should be able to grind out a much-needed win on Saturday night.
Frank Shamrock attempts to shake hands with Strikeforce opponent Nick Diaz. Photo by Tom Casino/Showtime Networks.
Here’s a small gallery of photos from this past Thursday’s pre-fight press conference for Strikeforce’s “Shamrock vs. Diaz” event, which takes place on April 11 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California and will be televised live on Showtime.
Those in attendance at the press conference included former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion Frank Shamrock, Nick Diaz, former EliteXC champions Jake Shields and Robbie Lawler, and female MMA star Cris “Cyborg” Santos.
All photos were taken by Tom Casino and come courtesy of Showtime. Quotes from the press conference are here.