Fellow Strikeforce lightweight champions Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendez are far from strangers heading into this Saturday evening’s “Strikeforce: Evolution” card where the pair will face off for the second time to decide who the true king of the hill is in the promotion at 155 pounds.
Thomson edged out Melendez via unanimous decision in the first battle between the California based rivals in a bout that took place more than a year ago in June of 2008, but according to “The Punk”, he didn’t even bother to review his previous victory as he fully expects a new and improved “El Nino” on December 19 when the two slug it out live on Showtime.
“This is a completely different fight than the last fight,” explained Thomson during a recent media call. “I didn’t even watch the last fight. Gilbert, I think, is a different fighter. I think he’ll come in with a different mentality and a different mindset.
“I don’t want to look at the past. I have to be sure I bring it home again and I’m not really looking at the last fight as a measuring stick whatsoever. It’s going to be a different Gilbert and a different fight.”
No excuses. That’s how Thomson wants it, and honestly, that’s just the way it’s going to be this time around. While Josh has been forced to pull out of two bouts prior to this one due to a broken ankle and the rehabilitation process that followed, he’s ready to go in this one.
“I don’t want the media to make any excuses if I go out there and he beats me fair and square,” said Thomson. “I don’t want people thinking that he beat me because I had all this time off or ring rust or whatever. I’m telling you right now I’m 100 percent. I’m ready to fight and if he beats me it’s because he was the better fighter that night. There is nothing else to it.
“I want to make that clear to the media now and to everyone who talks to me and to all my friends even and even to the guy who comes up to me in an alleyway and says something to me. I’m 100 percent, I’m ready to fight and I’m ready to bring my title home. If he beats me it’s because he was the better fighter.”