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Strikeforce announces non-title fight for Josh Thomson

The San Jose-based Strikeforce promotion has confirmed that its lightweight champion, Josh “The Punk” Thomson, will be competing on its second-annual show at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sept. 20 when he takes on Ashe Bowman.

The Thomson vs. Bowman matchup will be a non-title affair.

Thomson, who wrestled as an amateur at Standford, won the title on June 27 when he recorded an upset unanimous decision victory over then-incumbent Gilbert Melendez.

With a stellar overall record of 15-2, Thomson has an impressive 6-1 record while competing under the Strikeforce banner with notable victories over Nam Phan and Duane “Bang” Ludwig. His only Strikeforce loss was to current UFC lightweight competitor Clay Guida.

Outside of Strikeforce, Thomson holds victories over Hermes Franca, “Razor” Rob McCullough, Doug Evans, and Gerald Strebendt. The win over Strebendt took place during Thomson’s UFC debut at UFC 44 in September of 2003.

After defeating Franca via a split decision at UFC 46, he returned at UFC 49 in August of 2004, where he suffered the first loss of his professional career after being knocked out in the first round from a head kick delivered by Yves Edwards.

Bowman, nicknamed “The Machine,” is affiliated with Ken Shamrock’s Lion’s Den and holds a 6-4 record, according to Sherdog’s fight finder. Primarily competing for Ken Shamrock Promotions, Bowman has also fought for the WEC (before it was under Zuffa ownership) and for the Mixed Martial Arts Championship in Washington, D.C., where he suffered a loss to BodogFIGHT veteran Matt Lee when he submitted to a rear naked choke in the first round.

In addition to Thomson vs. Bowman, Strikeforce’s return to the Playboy Mansion will be headlined by a middleweight fight between Joe “Diesel” Riggs and Kazuo Misaki along with Bobby Southworth defending his Strikeforce light heavyweight title vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral.

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