When Josh Thomson beat Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante earlier this year, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that he would soon finish the trilogy of fights against old foe Gilbert Melendez with the Strikeforce lightweight title on the line.
The idea was squashed, at least for the time being, with the inclusion of Thomson on this week’s Dynamite!! show in Japan, where the former champion will take on Tatsuya Kawajiri in a lightweight battle.
Melendez is still currently working his way back from a hand injury and hasn’t been placed in a fight since his April win over Shinya Aoki. Thomson is sure the third fight between he and Melendez will still happen, he’s just not sure when that might be.
As a matter of fact, Thomson’s next fight in Strikeforce could already be set.
“The Gilbert fight’s going to happen,” Thomson told MMAWeekly Radio. “Maybe this just isn’t the time. I also asked during this whole negotiation process, there’s a lot of talk of Kawajiri coming over to Strikeforce, and it’s only fair since I’m going over there to fight him on New Year’s Eve, the biggest show that they have, when he does come over here I want to be the first person he fights here.
“If I beat him there I really see no reason to fight him here, but the fact that I didn’t have a whole lot of notice and I’m fighting him in his own backyard, and I’m pretty sure he’s been training for this fight knowing he’s going to fight, so it’s like I have a lot going against me. If I’m able to pull it off over there, we won’t fight here possibly, but if I don’t, I would like the chance to fight him right away when he does come to Strikeforce.”
Thomson mentioned that he had actually asked Strikeforce to place him on their Jan. 29 fight card in San Jose, Calif., as well as his appointment on New Year’s Eve in Japan, but they opted for other fights just in case the American Kickboxing Academy fighter isn’t healthy after this weekend.
Beyond that, Thomson isn’t worried about when he’ll face Melendez for the third time, he just knows it’s bound to happen at some point.
“I can’t worry about him and I can’t worry about what he’s doing right now,” Thomson said about Melendez. “I think they’re still trying to work the details out with him and Strikeforce and a new contract. I’m not really sure what the deal is, like I said I can’t really focus on that. The fight will happen when the time’s right.”
As for his own future, Thomson seems to have sketched out a map for what he wants 2011 to look like in Strikeforce.
“I’m looking to fight possibly March or April, and we’ll go from there,” said Thomson.
“After like June, I’d probably like to take the summer off and spend some time with family and things like that, and enjoy my time after June. Getting these two fights already in the bag for next year, and then maybe fight one more time in September or October.”