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Mitsuhiro Ishida Replaces Josh Thomson, Will Face Gilbert Melendez On Aug. 15th

Josh Thomson’s ankle continues to haunt him. Thomson (16-2) had broken his ankle in April while training for his title defense against the man he defeated for the Strikeforce lightweight championship, Gilbert Melendez (15-2), at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz on April 11, 2009. Melendez went on to defeat Rodrigo Damm at the event to claim the Strikeforce interim lightweight championship.

“I broke it right at the ankle, so I had to have some plates put in with some screws,” Thomson told Radio earlier this week. “It was a double break in the fibia. I had a break in the lower part of the bone and a break in the upper part of the bone. I got eight screws and a plate put in.

“It was kind of a nasty break. The good thing is it wasn’t a jagged break. There was no compound fracture.”

Thomson and Melendez were scheduled to unify the titles at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg on August 15th, however Strikeforce officials confirmed to MMAJunkie that Thomson hasn’t been medically cleared for the fight, and Melendez will instead meet Mitsuhiro Ishida (18-5-1).

Ishida holds a victory over Melendez in Japan in 2007, having defeated Melendez via unanimous decision. The rematch on August 15th will be a five-round bout for Melendez’s interim title.