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Gilbert Melendez vs Mitsuhiro Ishida 2 booked with Josh Thomson ruled out of Strikeforce fight Aug. 15

Strikeforce confirmed earlier today that Interim Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez (15-2) will no longer rematch current Strikeforce 155-pound champ Josh Thompson at "Carano vs. Cybrog" on Aug. 15 because "The Punk" was denied medical clearance to compete.

Thompson -- who is apparently still not completely healed from a broken left leg sustained while training to take on Melendez back on April 11 -- will be replaced by Mitsuhiro Ishida.

It's certainly more bad news for the injury-riddled fight card; however, "El Nino" is perhaps comforted in knowing that even though his opponent was switched, he still has the opportunity to exact revenge.

Melendez was out to avenge a decisive unanimous decision loss to "The Punk" from their June 2008 encounter. The loss was only the second of his sparkling 16-fight career, which includes notable wins over Hiroyuki Takaya, Clay Guida, Tatsuya Kawajiri and others.

His only other defeat came via unanimous decision to, you guessed it, Ishida, at Yarennoka on New Years Eve 2007. Ishida has since signed with Strikeforce and made a successful debut for the promotion with a first round submission win over Justin Wilcox last September.

Now the two will once again collide in a five-round title fight with Melendez's interim belt on the line. It may not be Melendez vs. Thomson, but it's the next best thing under the difficult circumstances.

The August 15 Strikeforce event will feature Gina Carano finally taking on Cristiane 'Cyborg' Santos as well as Nick Diaz facing off against Jay Hieron for the newly-created Strikeforce welterweight championship.

For all the latest on the 'Carano vs. Cyborg' fight card click here.

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