Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Josh "The Punk" Thomson has been forced out of his first scheduled title defense against Yves Edwards (34-14-1) because of a broken toe sustained during training.
Duane "Bang" Ludwig (17-8) will now replace the champ against Edwards in a three round non-title fight at a catchweight of 164 pounds on the Strikeforce: "Destruction" card, which is set to go down at the HP Pavillion in San Jose, Calif., on November 21.
Ludwig is coming off a first round technical knockout win over Sam Morgan on the Strikeforce: "Payback" card last month. The victory was revenge for a previous loss the Denver native suffered at the hands of Morgan more than three years ago.
He's a very accomplished mixed martial artist who has competed professionally since early 2000. During his nearly nine year career he's stood across the ring or cage with mixed results against such world class caliber fighters as BJ Penn (loss), Takanori Gomi (loss), Jens Pulver (win), Thomas Denny (win), Tony Frykland (win), Tyson Griffin (loss), Paul Daley (loss) and Josh Thomson (loss).
In short, he'll be well prepared to step in on short notice to face the very experienced Yves Edwards.
Edwards' last fight was a first round technical knockout loss to KJ Noons in June for the Elite XC lightweight championship. Before that loss, he strung together three consecutive wins since joining the infamous American Top Team (ATT) camp in Coconut Creek, Florida.
His career has been revitalized under the new camp, putting his lackluster record of (1-5) from late 2005 through late 2007 behind him for the most part. Obviously, the loss to Noons was a set back, but this high profile fight should be a better example of which Yves Edwards we should expect to see from here on out ... title fight or not.
Strikeforce: "Destruction" will air live on HDNet beginning at 9 p.m. ET on fight night. For the complete fight card click here.