by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
On Saturday night, Strikeforce announced the two headline fights for their next big show on Aug. 15. Gina Carano returns to action to face Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, while lightweight champion Josh Thomson will square off against the fighter he took the strap from in Gilbert Melendez.
The fight between Carano and Santos will be the first time a women’s MMA fight has been featured as a main event on a highly publicized broadcast such as Showtime, and will be the most anticipated fight in women’s MMA history.
Carano has been out of action since Oct 2008 when she defeated Kelly Kobald, but was soon unemployed when Elite XC went out of business, leaving the Las Vegas native looking for a new fight home.
Santos has been on a roll winning her last seven in a row, including her Strikeforce debut in May in which she defeated Hitomi Akano by TKO.
The other headliner on the card will feature Josh Thomson’s first defense of the Strikeforce lightweight title against the fighter that last held the belt in Gilbert Melendez.
“I just got the walking boot off about five weeks ago. I’ve been training every day since I got the boot off,” Thomson said on Saturday night. “I think I have to open up a lot of other things. There’s no damn way I’m going to come out and fight him the same way I did the last time.”
Melendez returned to action in April for the first time since suffering the loss to Thomson, and he did so in emphatic fashion punishing Rodrigo Damm to win by TKO in the 2nd round.
“Josh fought a great fight (the first time),” Melendez commented. “This time I’m going to be training harder. It’s going to be a different story.”
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for more information on this blockbuster card as it becomes available.