Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thompson. Photo by Jon Swenson.
Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson will defend his title in a rematch against former PRIDE Fighting Championships standout Gilbert Melendez at Strikeforce’s upcoming “Shamrock vs. Diaz” event on April 11 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
Various websites, including MMA on Tap, were able to confirm the matchup on Tuesday. Five Ounces of Pain was the first to report the possibility of the bout. Thomson won a five-round unanimous decision over Melendez at a Strikeforce event in June of last year.
Since then, Thomson has only competed once and has yet to defend his belt. The American Kickboxing Academy product last competed at Strikeforce’s second visit to the Playboy Mansion this past September, defeating Ashe Bowman via first-round TKO in a non-title bout.
Melendez has not fought since losing to Thomson either due to taking some time off to heal lingering injuries and opening his own gym in California. The Cesar Gracie-trained fighter has one fight on his current contract with Strikeforce and will become a free agent following his rematch with Thomson.