The co-main event of the Strikeforce: "Tate vs. Rousey" event going down tonight (Sat., March 3, 2012) in Columbus, Ohio, featured a lightweight scrap pitting K.J. Noons against Josh Thomson.
And, thanks to the lack of depth in the 155-pound division of the San Jose based promotion, this was very likely a number one contender bout, as evidenced by Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez hanging cageside doing commentary for the match-up.
Which means he got a first hand look at a familiar foe in Thomson, who used a stifling top game to completely neutralize Noons en route to a plodding three-round unanimous decision victory.
It was ugly, and it didn't earn him any new fans, but it got the job done. Melendez vs. Thomson part three anyone? Anyone at all?
Thomson's early strategy was to hit Noons hard, hit Noons fast and hit Noons first. He also worked his grappling game to nullify the strong boxing of his opponent. Control was the name of the game late in the round, much to the chagrin of the crowd at the Nationwide Arena.
The boo birds were out in force but it's difficult to argue with a stifling game plan that earned the former champion the first round.
Round two wasn't a lot different. Thomson's plan was to work Noons over on the mat and do just enough to get the judges to score the round for him. Noons inability to get back to his feet certainly helped "The Punk's" cause, though the referee provided some assistance with a stand up.
Once again it didn't matter because Thomson got another takedown and worked top control. Noons was so frustrated, he threw his hands up from the bottom like a child.
The third round started and Thomson quit playing the control game and started working his submission attack, quickly tripping K.J. and popping into an arm triangle. Noons went all grown man and escaped after nearly getting choked out, but the damage was done.
A few minutes later, the fight was over with a clear winner.
Remember, too, to check out MMAmania.com's ongoing live coverage of the "Tate vs. Rousey" main card action by clicking here.