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Exclusive: Josh Thomson breaks leg; Gilbert Melendez rematch on April 11 off (Updated)

Josh Thomson has some bad news:

Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Josh Thomson today broke his left leg while training for his first title defense against the man who he defeated to capture it, Gilbert Melendez. Therefore, the highly anticipated rematch on April 11 has been scrapped.

A search for a replacement to challenge "El Nino" is already underway for the Showtime card -- the first for the promotion since acquiring select assets, including fighter contracts, from Pro Elite earlier this year.

After capturing the title from Melendez, Thompson defeated Ashe Bowman (first round technical knockout win) at "Strikeforce at the Mansion II" in 2008. It was a tune-up fight for "The Punk," who was recovering from a shoulder injury that was actually not even 100 percent in the Melendez match.

This is no doubt a major setback for the American Kickboxing Academy standout.

He had this to say in a recent press release:

"I was sparring hard and I broke my leg, above my ankle, during an exchange. I’m very upset. All the hard work was done and it was time to fight. I was looking forward to putting on a great show for the fans. All I can say is that I’ll be back when I get healthy."

According to the release, Thomson is scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday to repair the damaged limb, which is expected to keep the 30-year-old fighter out of action for two to three months.

The Strikeforce April 11 card will feature Nick Diaz and Frank Shamrock facing off in the evening’s main event at a catchweight of 179 pounds. Also sceduled to do battle is Scott Smith as he faces Benji Radach and Joe Riggs taking on former EliteXC Welterweight Champion Jake Shields.

To check out the latest Strikeforce: "Shamrock vs. Diaz" fight card click here.

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