It wasn’t Anthony Pettis, or even BJ Penn, announced for Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. No, “El Nino” instead was given Josh Thomson for a third time, as the two will square off on May 19 at Strikeforce: Heavvyweight Grand Prix Finale from San Jose.
Rumors of a lightweight from the UFC entering Strikeforce and facing Melendez seemed to heat up right before Thomson was announced, and Melendez was excited. Still, he knows he’ll receive a fight from Thomson who was the last person to defeat him inside the cage.
“I was hoping for something better, for some top talent, and it didn’t work out,” said Melendez, in a recent interview with MMAjunkie.com. “Sometihng to raise my stock. Josh Thomson is tough because it’s always going to be tough with him.”
After Thomson secured a victory from Melendez, the Cesar Gracie-trained fighter returned to hand him a loss of his own. Thomson secured the shot at Melendez by defeating K.J. Noons in his last bout.