Strikeforce: 'Evolution' pre-fight conference call highlights and quick recap

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Strikeforce today (Dec. 9) held a media conference call with a good portion of its main card participants to promote their upcoming Showtime event from their home base in San Jose, California, for the live mixed martial arts extravaganza on December 19.

Strikeforce: "Evolution" will feature a main event between lightweight champion Josh "The Punk" Thomson and interim division kingpin, Gilbert "El Nino" Melendez, squaring off in a long awaited rematch to decide the promotion's undisputed 155-pound leader.

In the co-featured fight, former middleweight champion and San Jose favorite, Cung Le, make his return to competition after more than a year and a half layoff. He'll lock horns with hard-hitting brawler, Scott "Hands of Steel" Smith.

Here is a brief recap and highlights of noteworthy items coming out of today's call, featuring all four of the aforementioned fighters:

The fighters are asked for opening comments and the general consensus is that everyone is "excited" to be on the call and looking forward to "Evolution" on Dec. 19.

Cung Le: Wasn't planning to come back so soon but was definitely planning to come back. Going to concentrate on one fight at a time but still has movie commitments in 2010. Key to surviving a tough exchange is composure. Felt like surrendering the title was the right thing to do and was not aware of his quick return to action at the time he made the decision.

Scott Smith: Thinks his ground game is underrated and isn't afraid to go to the ground. Says he and Le compliment each other. Smith fights back fear when he's rocked to stay composed. Says a win over Le puts him in the mix for the middleweight title. Has no intention of going to the ground. Says fans want to see a stand-up war and he plans on delivering.

Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Josh Thomson: Upcoming bout with Melendez "completely" different than their first fight. Thinks the only way to combat ring rust is by getting in the ring. Declares he's injury free and ready to go and if he loses it's because Melendez was the better fighter.

Strikeforce Lightweight Interim Champion Gilbert Melendez: He's "in it to win it" and hopes to perform better than he did in the first fight. Has to bring his "A game" every fight if he wants to stay on top. Instincts keep him alive during a fight. Thinks Thomson's recent injuries may have been a blessing in disguise because it allowed him to get more fights under his belt. Says the hard part is over, now it's time to get in the cage and fight.

When asked for closing comments, everyone has a big "Thank you" for the support and hopes that everyone will tune in on December 19 to see a great card.

Remember: MMAmania.com will provide LIVE blow-by-blow, round-by-round coverage of Strikeforce: "Evolution," beginning with the SHOWTIME telecast at 9 p.m. ET. In addition, we will deliver up-to-the-minute quick results of all the under card action earlier on fight night.

We’re still a few days away from showtime; therefore, feel free to share your thoughts and predictions on "Evolution" in the comments section below. And remember that MMAmania.com will be the spot for the latest news and event-related highlights before, during and after the event.

For everything you need to know about Strikeforce feel free to also hit up our event archive right here.

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