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Tag: Josh Thomson

‘Strikeforce: Evolution’ Live Results + Commentary

Josh Thomson Gilbert Melendez Strikeforce MMA
(Pace yourself, Josh, this isn’t a posing competition. If it was, Lindland would have already taken Physique of the Night. Photo courtesy of Strikeforce.)

Cung Le returns from Hollywood, lightweight champ Josh Thomson tries to make it 2-0 against interim belt-holder Gilbert Melendez, Matt Lindland and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza battle for middleweight contendership, and King Mo takes on another heavyweight for some reason — all in all, not a bad night for Strikeforce’s mid-level stars. Round-by-round results from the Showtime broadcast are after the jump; refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest.

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Thomson/Melendez Rematch Re-Re-Re-Scheduled for ‘Strikeforce: Evolution’

Gilbert Melendez Josh Thomson MMA Strikeforce
(Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

In the 17 months that Josh Thomson has been Strikeforce’s lightweight champion, he has defended his title exactly zero times. His only fight since grabbing the belt from Gilbert Melendez in June 2008 was a non-title squash match against Ashe Bowman last September, and he hasn’t been able to compete at all this year due to a series of leg injuries. And even though a planned rematch with now-interim-champ Melendez has been canceled three times already, Strikeforce is rolling the dice again. According to GracieFighter, Thomson vs. Melendez II will go down at "Evolution," Strikeforce’s December 19th show at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.

Despite being constantly jerked around by Thomson’s withdrawals, Melendez has been able to fight twice since last June, scoring stoppage victories over Rodrigo Damm and Mitsuhiro Ishida. The Ishida fight at Carano vs. Cyborg avenged Melendez’s first career loss; beating Thomson would clean his slate completely. With Thomson coming off a year-and-a-half of injuries and inactivity, you have to like El Niño’s chances. The current lineup for Strikeforce: Evolution looks like this…

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CagePotato Comments of the Week

Bodymore Murdaland The Wire opening

We’re fighting through the last vile hours of the work week, which means it’s time to give away some damn t-shirts. This week’s big winners:

UFC fan on "Just ‘Cause: Natasha Wicks Topless in a Leather Jacket":
Schoonover! damn it man…looking good bro :)

Perdew on "It’s Over: Cro Cop Calls It Quits, Disbands Team, Lingers a Moment in Empty Gym Before Quietly Turning Off the Lights":
does this mean cro cop is gonna try to teach duquan how to box?

Horror Fighter on "Josh Thomson Breaks Leg Again, Hopes for December Return":
Give that blue belt a purple.

If your name has been called, holler at feedback@cagepotato.com with your name, address, and shirt size, and we’ll send a "Devil Horns" shirt your way.

Unrelated: Our heavyweight and welterweight Power Rankings pages have been updated. Junior Dos Santos enters the heavyweight list at #9, while Dan Hornbuckle slides into the 170-pound list at #10.

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Josh Thomson Breaks Leg Again, Hopes for December Return

Josh Thompson Punk MMA
("I’ll have the usual." Photo courtesy of MMA TKO.)

We can officially add Strikeforce lightweight champ Josh Thomson to the list of Epically Cursed fighters that already includes James Irvin and Amir Sadollah. The Punk told MMA Weekly that he re-broke his leg in training, postponing his return — and rematch against interim champion Gilbert Melendez — even further:

“I was really just playing around, just working on my technique, and this kid, this little blue belt, grabbed a leglock—I was wearing a gi—and I couldn’t slide my leg out. He just bellied out on the leglock in the standing position and you just heard the bone go crunch. The hairline fracture turned into an actual break.”
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Josh Thomson Still Dealing With Injured Leg; Says Rematch With Melendez Will Go On

Josh Thomson Strikeforce MMA
(Photo courtesy of promma.info)

No fighter goes into a match 100% healthy — but Josh Thomson‘s situation is particularly troubling. Four months after breaking his leg in practice — and less than three weeks before his scheduled Strikeforce lightweight title rematch against Gilbert Melendez at "Carano vs. Cyborg"Thomson told MMAJunkie Radio that he’s still very much feeling the effects of that injury:

"I guess you could say that two weeks ago I was on crutches…I’m still talking right now with my cornermen and my management about moving the fight back to October or me just not fighting [Melendez]…
 
[Training is] moving right along, I guess you could say. I’ve decided to go with the non-training method for this fight – kind of play it by ear and see what happens. There’s a lot of things I couldn’t do. I’m not training like I was able to for the first fight, and we’re going to see what happens…That doesn’t mean I’m not taking this fight serious. It doesn’t mean that I’m not going to show up and fight my ass off. Have I ever not showed up and fought my [expletive] ass off?…

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Some Fighters Booked to Fight Other Fighters, According to New Reports

Jens Pulver WEC MMA
(Better get the next ice-pack ready. Photo courtesy of Yardbarker.)

Alright, let’s get to it…

— After an injury forced Josh Thomson to drop out of his Strikeforce rematch with Gilbert Melendez, a replacement has reportedly been found, according to The Fight Network. Taking on Melendez at Saturday’s "Shamrock vs. Diaz" event will be Rodrigo Damm, an 8-2 veteran of Bodog Fight and Sengoku. Damm hasn’t competed since last August, when he was choked out by Eiji Mitsuoka at Sengoku Fourth Battle.

— Winless since his WEC debut against Cub Swanson in December 2007, Jens Pulver will be given another chance to score a victory at WEC 41 (June 7th, Sacramento). Lil’ Evil will be facing 20-year-old up-and-comer Josh "The Fluke" Grispi (12-1), who has gone 2-0 in the WEC with first-round stoppages over Mark Hominick and Micah Miller. WEC 41 will be headlined by the rematch between Urijah Faber and Mike Brown.

TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah has an opponent for his much-delayed return at UFC 101 (August 8th, Philadelphia). MMA Weekly confirms that Sadollah’s welterweight debut will come against Johny Hendricks, a 5-0 transfer from the WEC’s defunct 170-pound division who won a unanimous decision over Alex Serdyukov at WEC 39 last month. Also on the card will be another welterweight bout between Tamdan McCrory (who’s coming off a submission victory over Ryan Madigan at UFC 96 in March) and John Howard (who most recently won a Fight of the Night bonus for his split-decision victory over Chris Wilson at UFC 94 in January). UFC 101 will be headlined by the lightweight title scrap between BJ Penn and Kenny Florian.

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Strikeforce News: Thomson Out of 4/11 Co-Headliner With Broken Leg; Lawler/Shields + Babalu/Feijao Added to June Card

Gilbert Melendez Josh Thomson MMA Strikeforce
("Josh, bro, you ever look at your hands? I mean really *look* at them? It’s like, why do we have five fingers anyway? Who decided that? It would be cool if I had six, but I’d probably be able to get by with just four. Or like, why is there a thumb on only *one* side of your hand. I feel like I’d be able to get more done with two thumbs on each hand. Do you ever watch ‘Fringe’? Great fuckin’ show." Photo courtesy of MixedMartialArts.com.)

With less than two weeks to go before Strikeforce returns to action on Showtime, the second-biggest fight on the "Shamrock vs. Diaz" card (April 11th, San Jose) has been scratched from the lineup. Strikeforce announced last night that lightweight champion Josh Thomson broke his left leg above the ankle while sparring with Billy Evangelista yesterday, and will not be having his rematch with Gilbert Melendez next Saturday. Said Thomson:

“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.”

Strikeforce is searching for a late replacement for Melendez so that the former champ can still compete on the card. Tough break (literally) for Thomson, but on the bright side, we didn’t want to see him fight Melendez again anyway. Their first meeting last June saw Thomson  dominate Melendez with his striking for all 25 minutes of the match; El Nino was never really in the game. And Melendez hasn’t fought anybody since then, so it’s not like he’s legitimately earned another crack at the champ. We’ll keep you posted on the random-ass opponent they scare up for him. The full lineup for "Shamrock vs. Diaz" can be seen here.

In other news…

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Strikeforce Returns to Showtime in April; Smith vs. Radach Booked

Benji Radach Murilo Ninja Rua MMA EliteXC Strikeforce
(Benji Radach goes in for the kill against Murilo "Ninja" Rua at EliteXC: Heat last October. Photo courtesy of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.)

From a new press release distributed by Strikeforce:

Showtime Networks Inc. and World championship mixed martial arts (MMA) event producer Strikeforce have joined forces to create an all-new series of MMA events that will air live on SHOWTIME® as part of the SHOWTIME Sports franchise. The news was jointly announced today by Ken Hershman, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks, and Strikeforce Founder and CEO Scott Coker.
 
The multi-year agreement calls for SHOWTIME to produce and televise up to 16 live events per year including Strikeforce world championship events as well as a series dedicated to showcasing up-and-coming fighters in the sport. The initial championship event is schedule for Saturday, April 11, 2009 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The fight card will be announced at a later date.

This won’t be the first time that a Strikeforce event has been broadcast on Showtime; Shamrock vs. Le aired live on the premium cable channel last March, and Shamrock vs. Baroni aired on Showtime PPV in June 2007. But now it looks like Strikeforce will be airing fight cards with the same frequency as the UFC — particularly when you include the quarterly specials on CBS, as has been reported — and that’s a significant step forward.

According to FiveOuncesofPain, one of the fights that will featured in the April 11th event will be a bout between Scott Smith and Benji Radach. Smith was featured twice in EliteXC’s live events on CBS, both times in unsuccessful efforts to claim Robbie Lawler’s middleweight title. (Their first fight was ruled a no-contest after Smith received an unintentional eye-poke in the third round that ended the match.) Somehow, Smith was able to extricate himself from his EliteXC contract after Pro Elite closed its doors, and last competed for Strikeforce in November, scoring a 24-second knockout over Terry Martin. Radach last competed at EliteXC: Heat in October, where he knocked out Murilo Rua in the second round.

Former Strikeforce middleweight champ Frank Shamrock and current Strikeforce lightweight champ Josh Thomson are also rumored to be on the card.

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Scott Smith Lands on His Feet

Scott Smith UFC MMA
(Smith during his last UFC appearance, against Ed Herman at UFC 72. Photo courtesy of slam.canoe.ca.)

Though most of his former EliteXC stablemates are still in contract limbo, two-time middleweight title challenger Scott Smith (13-5) has managed to book his next fight. “Hands of Steel” will be taking on fellow UFC vet Terry Martin (18-5) at Strikeforce’s “Destruction” card, which will be held at San Jose’s HP Pavilion on November 21st. According to the press release we received this morning:

Despite the short notice he was given for the meeting with Martin, Smith claims he will enter the fight in better condition that he did for [his most recent] meeting with [Robbie] Lawler, as he had already been preparing for a bout on November 8th that was subsequently canceled.

“My teammates said you got to stick in there and be ready to fight at any time and that’s what I did. I think fighting two weeks later is better for me and is perfect timing…He’s a better boxer and I’m a better kickboxer. I want to keep the fight standing. I know he likes to stand and bang so it’s looking to be a slugfest.”

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Misaki, Thomson, and Ishida Score Wins at ‘Strikeforce at the Mansion 2′


(Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Justin Wilcox; props to MMA Root)

Last night’s Strikeforce card at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills featured two Japanese stars making successful debuts for the organization, lightweight champ Josh Thomson easily winning his squash match, and impressive performances by Terry Martin, Trevor Prangley, and Luke Stewart. In the night’s main event, #9-ranked middleweight Kazuo Misaki went toe-to-toe with Joe Riggs, with both fighters hesitant to engage in the first round. Riggs dropped Misaki with a straight left in the second, but Misaki hopped back up and connected with a straight right that sent Riggs to the mat. Misaki threw down blows from above until referee Josh Rosenthal declared it a TKO; Riggs immediately complained about the stoppage, despite Rosenthal’s repeated (and unanswered) warnings for Riggs to improve his position.

In a relatively pointless non-title fight, Josh Thomson disposed of Lion’s Den product Ashe Bowman in just over a minute. Aside from a stiff overhand right from Bowman that landed flush on Thomson’s chin, the match belonged to The Punk, who swarmed his opponent with punches to end the match. His victory sets up a future match with Shooto/PRIDE/Dream vet Mitsuhiro Ishida, who won his Strikeforce debut last night with a submission over the far-outmatched Justin Wilcox. See the above video for Ishida’s unbelievable transition from kimura to armbar (2:36-2:42), which apparently didn’t feel very pleasant for Wilcox.

Full results and video of the Thomson/Bowman fight after the jump.

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