Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendez to square off for undisputed Strikeforce Lightweight Championship Dec. 19

Strikeforce Evolution - Dec. 19

After twice being forced out of the highly-anticipated rematch due to injuries, STRIKEFORCE World Lightweight (155 pound) Champion Josh “The Punk” Thomson (16-2) is healthy and ready to defend his title against top-seeded mixed martial arts (MMA) rival and Interim Champion Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (16-2) on Saturday, Dec. 19 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

Thomson, who captured the lightweight championship by earning a five round, unanimous decision over Melendez in the main event at HP Pavilion on June 27, 2008, has not seen action since September 20, 2008 when it took him a mere 1 minute and 14 seconds to demolish Ashe “The Archer” Bowman during STRIKEFORCE’s second event at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Shortly after undergoing surgery for a broken fibula in his left ankle earlier this year, Thomson sustained a break in the bone located above the original injury.  He suffered yet another setback after the bone broke a second time.

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“One down and one to go” -Gilbert Melendez

Photo by: Eddie Constantine

“One down and one to go.” This was the comment that Gilbert Melendez made at the post fight press conference in reference to his third round TKO stoppage of Mitsuhiro Ishida and the next fighter on his hit list; Josh Thomson.

Regardless of Melendez’s excitement in avenging his first professional loss, he is undeterred from his ultimate goal; regaining the Strikeforce lightweight title from the currently injured Thomson.

“This title does not mean much. Josh is the real champion and that is the fight I want,” Melendez said. The interim champ showed improvements on several fronts, the most impressive being his standup.

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PRO MMA “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg” staff picks

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Strikeforce -- There’s only five days left before the highly anticipated showdown that has been brewing for almost two years.
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Strikeforce -- There’s only five days left before the highly anticipated showdown that has been brewing for almost two years.

Once again the PRO MMA (promma.info) staff has come together to lend our oh so professional opinions on this weekend’s “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg” event. Together we summoned the power of the MMA gods to grant us wisdom and insight into this historical evening headlined by Gina Carano vs. Cristiane Santos.

We have made our predictions for the main card, so check our picks and let us know what you think. Do you agree or disagree? Who is right on the money and who is off their rocker? “Carano vs. Cyborg” takes place Sat., Aug. 15, 2009 and airs on Showtime beginning at 10:30 p.m. CT/PT.

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Strikeforce / Showtime photo shoot with Melendez, Ishida, Sobral, Mousasi

Photo: Esther Lin/Strikeforce - Gegard Mousasi
Photo: Esther Lin/Strikeforce - Gegard Mousasi

Four of the fighters who will compete in two of the Strikeforce world title fights this Saturday at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., live on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) participated in a SHOWTIME Feature Photo Shoot Wednesday in San Jose.

In Saturday’s historic main event, Gina “Conviction” Carano (7-0) and Cris Cyborg (7-1) will clash in a five-round, five-minute fight for the first STRIKEFORCE 145-pound Female Championship.

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Six questions with Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez

Historic STRIKEFORCE Event Will Include Rematch Between Ishida And Melendez for Melendez’ Interim Lightweight Title.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2009) – He’s had a week and a half to think about his new opponent, but Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez says he’ll be ready come Saturday as he takes on Japanese wrestling expert Mitsuhiro Ishida in a rematch of their New Year’s 2007 fight in Japan.

Melendez had been scheduled to fight a rematch with Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh “The Punk” Thomson until Thomson was forced to pull out because he couldn’t get medical clearance for an injured leg. So, now, Melendez will risk his interim title against Ishida on this Saturday’s “Carano vs. Cyborg” show at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

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Gina Carano, Mitsuhiro Ishida workout quotes and photos

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Strikeforce  -- All eyes will be on MMA superstar Gina Carano (pictured) and her opponent, Cris Cyborg, this Saturday on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT delayed on the west coast).
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Strikeforce -- All eyes will be on MMA superstar Gina Carano (pictured) and her opponent, Cris Cyborg, this Saturday on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT delayed on the west coast).
SAN JOSE, CALIF. (Aug. 11, 2009) – Female MMA superstar Gina Carano and Japanese wrestling expert Mitsuhiro Ishida participated in a media workout Tuesday at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif.

Two of the top female fighters in the world, the undefeated Carano and Brazilian powerhouse Cris Cyborg will battle for the first-ever STRIKEFORCE Women’s Championship title on Saturday, Aug. 15 live on SHOWTIME® at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

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Thomson out with injury – Mitsuhiro Ishida will fight Melendez

SAN JOSE, Calif. (July 30, 2009) – It looks like Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez will get his rematch with Japanese wrestling expert Mitsuhiro Ishida a little sooner than he expected.

STRIKEFORCE announced on Thursday that Ishida will replace the injured Josh “The Punk” Thomson, owner of the STRIKEFORCE lightweight belt who was unable to get medical clearance for an injured leg. Ishida and Melendez will battle for Melendez’ interim lightweight title on the Saturday, Aug. 15, “Carano vs. Cyborg” show at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

SHOWTIME will televise the bouts during a telecast that will begin at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).

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“Shooto: The Final Tradition” in-depth preview

On Sunday May 10th at JCB Hall in Tokyo, Japan Shooto will present the final of their Tradition series, which will also make the 20th anniversary of professional Shooto. To make the occasion, leading Shooto promoter Sustain has put together one of their best cards in recent memory.

Takeshi Inoue vs. Rumina Sato
Although he was scheduled to compete in the Sengoku Featherweight Grand Prix, Takeshi Inoue decided to forgo the tournament to defend his 143-pound Shooto world title on this card. While Inoue is the current Shooto poster boy and champion, he will be taking on the previous generation’s preeminent shooter, Rumina Sato.

In the past Rumina Sato was a dangerous fighter who could catch an explosive submission at anytime. Over the course of his career he has won by flying armbar, calf slicer, and flying triangle choke. However, over time the sport and age have caught up to Sato. Inoue, who regained his title in his last fight with Hideki Kadowaki, should have little trouble disposing of Sato in the first round.

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DREAM 7 in-depth preview

Japan’s DREAM promotion returns this Sunday March 8, 2009 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama Japan. The card will include the opening round of a featherweight tournament as well as some interesting individual match ups. PRO MMA (promma.info) will be providing live real-time round by round results on this event beginning at 1:00am early Sunday morning. The DREAM tournaments are quite long but we here at PRO MMA are committed to bringing our readers the best content possible. Join us right here early Sunday morning and share your comments and opinions on the event as it is happening. Here are the match-ups for DREAM 7:

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