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Tag: Josh Thomson

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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‘Babalu’ Gets New Opponent, Thomson Gets Non-Title Fight

Josh Thomson Strikeforce MMA
(Josh Thomson’s just happy to be anywhere right now. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

In yesterday’s interview with Renato “Babalu” Sobral we wrote, “Right now, the only thing that’s certain is that Sobral will be fighting Bobby Southworth on September 20th for Strikeforce’s light-heavyweight championship.” But in this mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, can anything be certain? Not so much, apparently. MMA Junkie is reporting that Southworth has dropped out of “Strikeforce at the Mansion II” due to an undisclosed injury. Sobral will instead face Anthony Ruiz (21-11), who previously defeated Southworth via cut stoppage in a non-title fight last November, then lost a decision to Southworth in June when the belt was actually on the line. A month later, Ruiz fought in the undercard of EliteXC: Unfinished Business, where he defeated Jeremy Freitag for the third time in his career.

Sadly for Babalu, this means that his next fight won’t be for a belt after all. But as with the first meeting between Southworth and Ruiz, Strikeforce doesn’t even guarantee title fights to their reigning champions. In fact, Josh Thomson — who earned Strikeforce’s lightweight title with his five-round pwnage of Gilbert Melendez in June — was recently booked for a non-title fight at the September 20th Playboy Mansion show. He’ll be facing Ashe Bowman, a 6-4 Lion’s Den product who has absolutely no business being in the cage with someone on Thomson’s level. Bowman is coming off a three-fight win-streak, but those three opponents sported a combined record of 0-2 at the time he faced them.

Honestly, it’s one of the most bizarre matchups in recent memory. And it emphasizes the ridiculous nature of Strikeforce’s non-title matches. They’re denying Bowman a title shot to prevent the possibility of a total scrub wearing the belt; so why exactly are they throwing a total scrub at their champion in the first place? If Strikeforce has no other credible lightweights to vie for the championship (a sad state of affairs in itself), can’t they let Thomson take fights elsewhere until they find somebody? It’s a waste of The Punk’s time, and it’ll almost certainly be a lopsided loss for a young fighter who should still be woodshedding in regional shows.

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Strikeforce Salaries Released for “Melendez vs. Thomson”

Strikeforce Melendez Thomson MMA

The CSAC has released official salary figures for last Friday’s “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson” event; Gilbert Melendez topped the money list despite being used as a punching bag by “The Punk” for five rounds. Here are the numbers:

Josh Thomson: $35,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
Gilbert Melendez: $50,000
Billy Evangelista: $14,000 (includes $7,000 win bonus)
Nam Phan: $10,000
Bobby Southworth: $25,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
Anthony Ruiz: $200 (Ruiz received the majority of his purse as an advance)
Miesha Tate: $1,500 (includes $500 win bonus)
Elaina Maxwell: $4,000
Jeremiah Metcalf: $8,500 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
Raymond Daniels: $10,000
Chris Cariaso: $6,000 (no win bonus)
Anthony Figueroa: $5,000
Bobby Stack: $3,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
Jose Palacios: $3,000
Brian Caraway: $3,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
Alvin Cacdac: $3,000
Cyrillo Padilha: $2,500 (includes $750 win bonus)
Jesse Jones: $2,000
Jorge Interiano: $1,500 (includes $500 win bonus)
Travis Johnson: $2,000
Alexandre Trivino: $1,500 (includes $500 win bonus)
Eric Jacob: $1,000
Eric Lawson: $8,000 (includes $1,000 stoppage bonus)
Jesse Gillespie: $3,500
Total payroll: $203,200
Live gate revenue: $355,487 from 7,288 spectators

Underpaid: Miesha Tate, who needs to immediately fire her agent and hook up with whoever’s handling Gina Carano’s career. She’s a hot chick who can kick ass — $1,000 to show is fuggo money, kid.

Overpaid: Raymond Daniels. I know I’m not the only one who was disgusted by his grandstanding entrance/psyche-up, not to mention that he seemingly came into the match with the attitude that he didn’t need to learn takedown defense or ground-fighting. He got a much-needed beating, to be sure, but he didn’t earn that $10,000 consolation prize.

Related: Over at MMA Payout, Kelsey Philpott argues for a UFC minimum base salary of $10,000 per fight. I’ve been saying that for months, but Philpott actually takes the time to explain why that figure works, and why it’s necessary. Definitely worth a read.

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Strikeforce Video Highlights: Metcalf/Daniels, Stack/Palacios + More


For all his high-kickin’ domination in Chuck Norris’s World Combat League, Raymond Daniels was absolutely demolished in his MMA debut against journeyman Jeremiah Metcalf. Daniels had no answer for Metcalf’s takedowns and ground-and-pound, and didn’t even land one effective strike. Personally we think he should have been given a delay-of-game penalty for his ridiculous psyche-up at the beginning, but it all worked out at the end.


Bobby Stack vs. Jose Palacios was just one of many dull decision fights at “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson,” but it contained possibly the best escape-from-mount we’ve ever seen. Here’s the end of the fight — the camera angle is horrible at 0:59, but you get the full effect of Palacios’s reverse-somersault-escape during the replay at 2:04. Unfortunately, Stack’s top control throughout the match earned him the victory.

Miesha Tate vs. Elaina Maxwell contained a similar mount-escape by Maxwell, who seemed to have Tate in trouble a couple times in the fight with scissor-lock chokes. It was one of the better matches of the evening and you can see it here (part 1) and here (part 2).

Thomson vs. Melendez is after the jump…

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‘Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson’ Preview

Gilbert Melendez Josh Thomson MMA Strikeforce

Strikeforce’s “Melendez vs. Thomson” event goes down tomorrow at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. You can watch the main card live on HDNet beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET; here’s what you’ll be seeing…

Gilbert Melendez (14-1) vs. Josh Thomson (14-2) [for lightweight title]
With five straight wins in Strikeforce and an impressive ground game, Josh “The Punk” Thomson would be a credible threat to Gilbert Melendez’s Strikeforce belt, except for two things — he’s still recovering from shoulder surgery, and he and Melendez are longtime training partners, which means the champion already knows his game a little too well. It won’t be a gimme, but El Niño’s relentless aggression will likely win the day, as it usually does; though maybe he’ll go easy on his friend and let it go to a decision.

Bobby Southworth (8-5) vs. Anthony Ruiz (20-10) [for light heavyweight title]
205-pound champion Southworth actually lost his last fight against Anthony Ruiz, via TKO due to cut at “Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives” in November. For unclear reasons — and if you know, please enlighten us — the match was a non-title fight, and it set up tomorrow’s rematch for the championship. Though Southworth hasn’t fought since, Ruiz has scored wins against Jimmy Ambriz and Brad Imes. Submissions are Ruiz’s kryptonite (eight of his ten losses come from chokes and armbars), so Southworth would be wise to get it to the ground before he’s stuffed again by Ruiz’s sharp striking. Still, I see Ruiz taking it by decision and earning the belt he should already be wearing. Fun fact: Southworth picked up a no-contest against James Irvin at “Strikeforce: Revenge,” when both men fell from the cage at the 17-second mark of round 1.

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