Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez has avenged his loss to Josh Thomson by taking back the belt he currently wears. This Saturday night, “El Nino” can put the finishing touches on his trilogy with “The Punk” when the two meet in the co-main event of Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier.
The main card will air on Showtime, with the main event featuring Josh Barnett vs. Daniel Cormier in the finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Melendez defeated Thomson back in 2009, a year after Thomson won their first meeting. Both bouts went the distance.
“I think the difference between me and Josh is he thinks he knows me like he knew me in 2009, and I see him and I feel like he hasn’t evolved,” said Melendez, in a recent interview with Strikeforce.com. “He’s always tough, he’s always in shape, but the difference between me and him now is that I’ve been working my butt off day in and day out to become a better striker, wrestler, and mixed martial arts, and I plan on showing that.”
Melendez was hoping for a fight with a competitor from the UFC, but in Thomson he’ll be facing someone that has been a champion before. Thomson’s had to deal with several injuries in his career that have taken time off his fighting.