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Gilbert Melendez knows he is in for a battle with Josh Thomson this weekend

Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez always knew a third fight with Josh Thomson was a possibility. And, while the Cesar Gracie-trained fighter had hoped Zuffa would bring over a fighter from the UFC, Melendez is prepared to go to war with Thomson once again.

Melendez-Thomson will serve as the co-headliner at the Strikeforce Grand Prix Final this Saturday night from San Jose, California. The main card will air live on Showtime starting at 10:00 PM EST. “El Nino” and “The Punk” have split their previous two meetings with Melendez winning in 2009 and Thomson in ’08. Both matches went five rounds.

“I know what he’s got and I’ve been through that with him,” said Melendez, in a recent interview with Strikeforce’s website. “We’ve been through two five-round battles, and I feel like I do know him very well. You build a relationship because you respect the guy as well, but more so than anything, I know what he has and the main things I did take from that is I know he has a lot of heart, he has great conditioning, and he’s tough.”

Melendez has not lost since that match with Thomson. He is currently on a six-fight winning streak with three stoppage victories and three decisions during that time.

PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE