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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.


  • Richard Stabone says:

    Gil really needs to make it over to the UFC. His signature victories are Thomson and Aoki, with a split decision over Guida mixed in there. Yeah we all know he’s a really good fighter but his resume is not very inspiring and he’s now on the wrong side of 30.

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  • JBAR says:

    To me the one of the biggest advantages to him coming to the UFC would be the ability to stay more active. 6 fights since the June 08 loss is not a lot, you would really like to be a little more active than that and the UFC is not at a loss for good quality opponents in the LW division so he would be able to get 3-4 fights a year barring injury. Oh well, it is just wishful thinking since it seems like he will not be coming to the UFC anytime soon.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    I know everyone wants him/SF fighters to come to the UFC, or some UFC fighters to go to SF (me included), but I think it’d work out better if SF just got more fighters. Which brings me to something I’ve been wondering about, are they even trying to sign new people anymore? I know a lot of people think SF is just a death place, and right now it probably is, but that doesn’t mean some up and coming fighter wouldn’t jump at the chance for some tv time somewhere.

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  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    Since established stars don’t want to jump to SF, why not put some of the non winners of the last couple seasons of TUF into the LW division of SF?

    Not saying any of them could hang with Melendez but, gives them a spot to compete and maybe if someone puts in a couple impressive wins give them a title shot. Keeps Melendez busy with fresh opponents and gives guys that might be stuck on FB matches some TV time and fills out bottom end of SF cards until Zuffa decides what they are doing with it.

    Not like guys who lost first or second match on TUF are gonna command big bucks and most would be happy with some TV time as opposed to not getting paid or fighting in smaller promotions for peanuts.

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