American Top Team’s Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante was long-considered one of the top lightweights in Mixed Martial Arts before enduring a slew of injuries and eventually dropping back-to-back decisions in DREAM against Shinya Aoki and Tatsuya Kawajiri. Prior to the losses, Cavalcante had gone 14-1-1 in the first sixteen bouts of his professional career and had gained a reputation for being both solid on his feet and slick on the ground.
The 27-year old Brazilian bounced back with a split-decision win over Katsunori Kikuno last July after nearly a year-long layoff from the sport, and will apparently look to continue regaining more of his mojo on Strikeforce’s October 9th offering in a bout against former promotional champ Josh “The Punk” Thomson.
The pairing will serve as Cavalcante’s Strikeforce debut and comes after signing a four-fight deal with the company earlier this year.
News of the match-up was originally reported by Cavalcante’s manager, Alex Davis, during a recent conversation with MMAWeekly. Five Ounces of Pain has since confirmed the bout with Strikeforce officials.
Thomson is 9-1 in his last ten bouts with the only loss coming by way of decision to current Strikeforce lightweight title-holder Gilbert Melendez last December. Prior to the fight Thomson hadn’t lost since March 2006. He has only been finished once in a career spanning nearly a decade and is 17-3 overall as a professional.
The card is slated to be headlined by a grudge-match disguised as a title fight in the form of 170-pound champ Nick Diaz defending his belt against rival KJ Noons, as well as feature Sarah Kaufman putting her welterweight strap up for grabs against Marloes Coenen and rising middleweight star Luke Rockhold facing veteran Matt Lindland. The event will take place October 9th in the promotion’s home-base of San Jose, California’s HP Pavilion.