Strikeforce Lightweight stars Gilbert Melendez (L) and Josh Thomson (R) will sling leather in a trilogy match set for May 19, 2012, on Showtime. Photo via Flickr.com.
Old friends and familiar foes, Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez and former 155-pound kingpin, Josh Thomson, will collide for the third and likely final time at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., on May 19, 2012.
The mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion tonight (April 2, 2012) announced that the rubbermatch will serve as the co main event of the evening, which is scheduled to air on SHOWTIME with a 10 p.m. ET start time.
Melendez has ripped through the competition since his loss to "Punk" in their initial encounter way back in 2008, stringing together six consecutive victories and establishing himself as one of the top-ranked fighters in the division in the world. After his most recent win over Jorge Masvidal, a unanimous decision, "El Nino" lobbied for a move to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which undoubtedly has stiffer competition and more big-money fights.
In fact, UFC President Dana White declared not too long ago that Melendez would see this inside of the Octagon "as soon as possible." Perhaps a win over Thomson, the last real meaningful fight remaining for him under the Strikeforce banner, will finally do the trick.Thomson, meanwhile, has been plagued with various injuries over the years, which have seemingly prevented him from achieving his full potential. He was not 100 percent when he dropped a decision to Melendez in their rematch in Dec. 2009 and has struggled to regain top form ever since.
Nonetheless, he has won three of four fights since that time, including an impressive performance his last time out against K.J. Noons just last month, which ended with a decision in his favor.
With such a quick turnaround time between fights, perhaps Thomson's injury issues are resolved once and for all and the outcome of the defining trilogy fight with Melendez will be asterisk-free.
The main event of this Strikeforce show will feature a showdown between Josh Barnett vs. Daniel Cormier, which is the final fight of the promotion's Heavyweight grand prix. In addition, a clash between former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion Rafael Cavalcante vs. Mike Kyle and a Welterweight tilt between Bobby Voelker vs. Nah-Shon Burrell are also on tap.
For all the Strikeforce: "Barnett vs. Cormier" news be sure to check out our complete event archive right here.