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Mitsuhiro Ishida replaces Josh Thomson against Gilbert Melendez at Aug. 15 Strikeforce event

Strikeforce confirmed earlier today that Interim Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez (15-2) will no longer rematch current Strikeforce 155-pound champ Josh Thompson on the main card of their August 15 event after "The Punk" was denied medical clearance to compete.

Thompson and Melendez were originally set to collide at the April 11 ‘Shamrock vs. Diaz’ event until Thomson broke his left leg during training. Melendez went on to face Rodrigo Damm for the interim strap.

Unfortunately for Thomson, the healing process has taken a bit longer than expected, forcing him to remain on the sidelines for the rest of the summer.

"El Nino" was looking 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 -- Mitsuhiro 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.

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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