Strikeforce, during Friday night’s “Four Men Enter, One Man Survives” event in San Jose, Calif., announced that lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will defend his belt against top contender Josh Thomson .
The bout is scheduled to take place on March 29, most likely in a return trip to the HP Pavilion, the same location where Friday’s four-man tournament was held.
Melendez, currently ranked as the No. 3 lightweight in the world by MMAWeekly.com, puts his undefeated string of 13 professional wins on the line against Thomson.
Melendez emerged onto the world stage with an impressive victory on New Year’s Eve 2006 over Tatsuya Kawajiri, currently ranked No. 4 in the world by MMAWeekly.com. He won his belt with a victory over Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Clay Guida nearly a year-and-a-half ago.
Thomson, 14-2 as a professional, is riding a six-fight winning streak that started at the same event where Melendez won the belt. That streak includes impressive victories over Duane “Bang” Ludwig and a tough Nick Gonzalez, but Melendez will be his toughest test to date.