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Tag: Josh Thomson

Breaking Down All Eight ‘UFC vs. Strikeforce’ Bouts on This Saturday’s Henderson vs. Melendez Card

As we pointed out on Facebook earlier today, the entire main card of this Saturday’s UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Melendez event features a UFC veteran taking on a former Strikeforce standout. What’s more, there are four fights on the prelims that fit this same pattern. While the UFC has set up cards along national lines in the past — see UFC 58: USA vs. Canada and UFC 117: USA vs. Brazil, Pretty Much they’ve never been this overt with their UFC vs. Strikeforce matchmaking. Will the UFC vets fight harder in an attempt to defend their turf? Will the Strikeforce crossovers band together to continue their invasion of the Octagon? Take a look at all eight matchups below and let us know which side you think will emerge victorious.

Headshot images via Card/The UG.


BENSON HENDERSON vs. GILBERT MELENDEZ (for UFC lightweight title)
The odds say: Bendo is a strong favorite to defend his belt at -250.
We say:
When you put this much talent into the cage at the same time, anything can happen. But while we think this fight will be closer than the betting line reflects, there’s been an unbreakable, unstoppable quality to Henderson’s performances during his 6-0 UFC run. Until we see how Melendez actually performs in the Octagon, we’re picking the champ.


FRANK MIR vs. DANIEL CORMIER (HW)
The odds say: Cormier is a virtual lock at -375.
We say:
That sounds about right. Cormier has all the skills to be a future UFC champ, and barring any freakish leglocks, Frank Mir is just a stop along the way.

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[VIDEO] UFC on Fox 7: Melendez vs. Henderson — ‘Road to the Octagon’ Preview Show


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

It’s as simple as this — Saturday’s UFC on Fox 7: Henderson vs. Melendez card features top-ranked fighters and heavy stakes. As such, we love getting a lil’ something extra in anticipation of it. This UFC on Fox 7: Road to the Octagon documentary gives us just that, including behind-the-scenes footage with Benson Henderson (competing at a Jiu Jitsu tournament with his mom, working out with the NFL’s Larry Fitzgerald), Gilbert Melendez (at home and at work with his ex-fighter fiance and business partner, chilling with his tight-knit ‘Skrap Pack’), Frank Mir (crying, and on a flight to New Mexico to conduct the first training camp of his career away from his wife and twenty kids) and more pre-fight action from Josh Thomson, Nate Diaz, and Daniel Cormier.

It’s a good way to waste your lunch hour today — better, at least, than talking to that weird guy at the office who always just eats a can of soup for lunch, like, every day. (Seriously? Get some protein in there, you’re a grown ass man.) Anyway, watch it and tune in Saturday. It’s free, so you’ve got no excuse not to, fight fans.

-Elias Cepeda

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UFC Booking Alert: Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson Added to Next FOX Card; UFC 159 Gets Nelson vs. Kongo, Miller vs. Healy, Davis vs. Magalhaes


(Above: “Grrrrrr.” / Below: “Haaaaaay!”)

After coming up short in his title challenge against Ben Henderson last month, UFC lightweight Nate Diaz will be returning to the Octagon at UFC on Fox 7: Henderson vs. Melendez (April 20th, San Jose), where he’ll face former Strikeforce champ Josh Thomson; CSNBayArea broke the news yesterday.

Thomson hasn’t competed in the UFC since his 2-1 stint for the promotion in 2003-2004, which ended in an unfortunate/incredible highlight-reel knockout against Yves Edwards. Since then, “The Punk” has spent most of his career fighting for Strikeforce, where he built an entertaining rivalry against Diaz’s training partner (and UFC on FOX 7 title challenger) Gilbert Melendez. Thomson briefly held Strikeforce’s lightweight title after winning a decision against Melendez in June 2008, and has picked up wins over Pat Healy, Gesias Cavalcante, and KJ Noons since then. His most recent appearance resulted in a split-decision loss to Melendez during their rubber-match last May.

Of course, the other thing Thomson is known for is his frequent injuries, and there’s a lot that can go wrong between now and 4/20. Let’s hope this one sticks together. In related news, the UFC has added three big matchups to their UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen card, which takes place the following weekend (April 27th) in Newark, NJ…

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Oh, For God’s Sake: Strikeforce Considering a Fourth Match Between Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson [UPDATED]


(Come on. I know gay Irish couples who get into less scraps less than these two. Photo via Sherdog.)

Update: Apparently, Josh Thomson was just making shit up. Nice try, buddy. Melendez vs. Healy is possible, but it’s not confirmed as of yet.

In May, Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez took a unanimous decision in his rubber-match against Josh Thomson at “Barnett vs. Cormier,” settling their rivalry once and for all — OR DID IT?? Due to the relative lack of big-name challengers in the Strikeforce lightweight division and the promotion’s total lack of imagination, Strikeforce is actually considering a re-re-rematch between these two. Yaaaaaaay.

According to Thomson on an appearance on MMAJunkie.com Radio on Friday, Strikeforce plans to offer Melendez a fourth fight against him. Said the Punk: “From my understanding, they’re going to offer him the rematch, and if it doesn’t happen, it’s not because of me. I just want everyone to understand that.”

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“Strikeforce: Barnett vs Cormier” Aftermath: Tournament Alternate Cormier Takes the HWGP

Mauro haters, hit mute now. Actually, everyone hit mute and read what I say about the fights below. (Video: YouTube/ShoSports)

Bruised and battered. Cut and bloodied. Josh Barnett’s face wasn’t one of a man who got out-wrestled last night. Olympic-level or not, wrestling doesn’t leave you looking like you put your head through a meat grinder. Don’t get me wrong, he did get out-wrestled last night, he just got out-struck as well. He got out-everythinged, if you want to get technical.

It didn’t have to be that way, of course. A lot of men would have wilted earlier–much earlier–in the onslaught of Daniel Cormier’s attack. But Barnett never thought of taking the easy way out, and today his face testifies to the evolving game of Cormier. The AKA product showed great versatility in his striking, staggering Barnett with heavy hands, head kicks, and knees. His combinations come fast, hard, and often, which explains why his hand surgeon is on retainer (yeah, he broke his hand again last night). When he did grab hold of “The War Master”, his grappling pedigree shone as well. He sent Barnett stumbling across the cage from the clinch and dolled out single-leg frequent flier miles, at one point flipping the former UFC champion in the air before slamming him to the mat.

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Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier — Live Results & Commentary


(The time for talking is over. The time for looking into a camera and screaming has just begun. Photo via Esther Lin/SHO Sports.)

If you had told me 16 months ago that the Strikeforce 2011-2012 Heavyweight Grand Prix would conclude with an unheralded reserve-fighter ending up in the finals, and tournament favorite Alistair Overeem nowhere to be seen due to promotional poaching and a subsequent drug-test scandal, I would have said “Yeah, that sounds about right, actually.”

The good news is, Josh Barnett vs. Daniel Cormier is a hell of a matchup — a classic generational battle between a battle-tested old veteran and a hungry up-and-comer. (As it turns out, Barnett is only like a year-and-a-half older than Cormier, but work with me here.) Also on the main card: Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson fight for Strikeforce’s lightweight title for the third time, while light-heavyweights Mike Kyle and Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante throw down in a rematch of their own.

Handling the play-by-play for the tonight’s Showtime broadcast of Strikforce: Barnett vs. Cormier is our own Elias Cepeda, who will be posting live results after the jump starting at 10 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and let us know how you feel in the comments section. You ready for war? Because guys, we are always ready for war.

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Friday Afternoon Link Dump: A Completely Unnecessary ‘Kickboxer’ Tribute, Jones vs. Hendo Official for 9/1, Mike Pyle’s Wife Seems Like a Fun Chick + More


(All the kicks from Van Damme’s ‘Kickboxer’. Thanks, Internet. / Props: thecussingchannel via ScreenJunkies)

- UFC 151: Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson Official for Sept. 1 in Las Vegas (MMA Mania)

- Bellator 68 Preview and Predictions (MMAFighting)

Mike Pyle’s Wife Says That Her Butt Is the Key to Their Inseparable Marriage (MiddleEasy)

- Rumor: Josh Thomson Has Torn PCL, Bout With Melendez Likely Off (Fightline)

Can Testosterone Help You Lose Weight? (MensFitness)

- Good God, Sarah Jean Underwood Is Hot (The OG)

7 of the Most Mentally Unstable Fighters in MMA (Guyism)

- The Avengers and Their MMA Counterparts (BleacherReport/MMA)

- The 20 Funniest Moments In Breastfeeding History (WorldWideInterweb)

- 10 Totally Fake Myths about The Opposite Sex (DoubleViking)

- 6 Examples of Scumbag Fine Print (HolyTaco)

- ‘Speakeasy’ Episode 1, With Paul F. Tompkins and Ty Burrell (MadeMan)

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Cesar Gracie Says Pettis or Penn Might Challenge Melendez Next


(“No rematch for you, Punk”)

According to Gilbert Melendez’s trainer, Cesar Gracie, the UFC are in talks to have either former UFC lightweight champ BJ Penn or former WEC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis challenge his charge for his Strikeforce strap next.

Gracie informed TATAME of the development today.

“Melendez’s situation is complex right now. We still don’t have an opponent, date or place set. They said he could fight in San Jose but it’ll probably change. They mentioned Josh Thomson but then said it was not going to happen”, Gracie explained.“I spoke to [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva and he told me maybe some UFC fighters will go to Strikeforce. We would really like to see him fighting Pettis or BJ, but we are still not sure about what’s going to happen.”

Given that “Showtime” mentioned yesterday that he is considering dropping down to featherweight to challenge Jose Aldo in the near future, it would seem that the UFC brass are leaning towards “The Prodigy” for the bout. It would make sense since Penn has been uncharacteristically mum about his fighting future since his last fight and likely would have been mulling over the offer to swing over to the UFC’s sister promotion, considering how much less promotion and exposure it gets.

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Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey — The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly


(Props: shosports)

Last night’s Strikeforce card was a memorable one — even though there were a couple aspects of the show that we’d love to forget. Now that the dust has settled, let’s take a look back at Tate vs. Rousey’s thrilling highlights and awful lowlights…

The Good
- First and foremost, this gif from the weigh ins. Oh, Ronda. [*flexes butt seductively*]

- Ronda Rousey‘s title-winning performance against Miesha Tate. We finally learned what Rousey’s “Plan B” is when she’s unable to armbar you within the first minute — unsurprisingly, it’s another armbar. Rousey kept her head when Miesha stormed out at her in the beginning of the fight, calmly extracted herself from bad positions on the ground, and didn’t get discouraged when her first nasty armbar attempt failed to break Miesha’s elbow. Instead, she relied on the judo expertise that has carried her to a title shot in less than a year of professional MMA competition, and got the inevitable snap/tap at 4:27 of round 1. During her post-fight interview, Rousey proved that her heat-seeking personality doesn’t turn off just because the match is over. (Yes, she holds grudges, and yes, she still thinks Tate sucks.) A meeting with former champ Sarah Kaufman is next, but I can’t be the only one looking ahead to a possible 135-pound superfight against Cris Cyborg.

- Ronaldo Souza‘s striking. In the past, Jacare’s occasional tendency to keep fights standing has struck me as a frustrating betrayal of his bread-and-butter. (See also: Demian Maia.) But against Bristol Marunde, Souza’s striking looked just as dangerous as his grappling; his ferocious overhand rights and unconventional kicks brought to mind other Brazilian bangers like Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and Edson Barboza. Jacare is still evolving as a fighter, and Luke Rockhold should watch his back.

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‘Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey’ — Live Results + Commentary


(Scott Coker: “Whooaa.” That other dude: “Niiiiiiice.” / Photo courtesy of facebook.com/StrikeforceMixedMartialArts)

Welcome, friends, to the most bonerrific highly-anticipated women’s bantamweight fight in MMA history. Seven months after winning the Strikeforce 135-pound strap, Miesha Tate will attempt to make her first title defense against arm-snapping fire-cracker Ronda Rousey. And that’s just the cherry on top of a loaded fight card that also features two former Strikeforce champions (Josh Thomson, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza), a pack of crowd-pleasing sluggers (Paul Daley, Scott Smith, KJ Noons), and the return of former PRIDE welterweight grand prix champion Kazuo Misaki.

Handling our liveblog for this evening is Steve Silverman, who will be posting round-by-round results for the Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey main card after the jump starting at 10 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please toss your own brilliant opinions and observations into the comments section.

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