The Strikeforce main card appears almost set for March 3 in Columbus, Ohio, after the promotion announced two more major bouts on Saturday night.
First up is a lightweight clash between two former champions as Josh Thomson looks to get back in the title race when he faces K.J. Noons.
Also, former title contender Paul “Semtex” Daley battles Japanese veteran Kazuo Misaki in a pivotal welterweight showdown.
It’s been over a year since Thomson stepped into the cage or ring, but he’ll finally make his return to action in March. Thomson last fought when he took a bout on short notice in Japan against Tatsuya Kawajiri at New Year’s Eve 2010.
Thomson lost by unanimous decision and then as injuries mounted, his return date got pushed further and further back.
Now he is returning and will face former EliteXC champion K.J. Noons on the March 3 card in Ohio. Noons most recently defeated Billy Evangelista in a hard fought battle in December 2011, and hopes to reclaim contender’s status with a win over Thomson.
Daley makes his long awaited return to the Strikeforce cage in March as well. He last fought in Strikeforce in July 2011, losing a close decision to current welterweight title contender Tyron Woodley.
Since that time, Daley has gone 2-0 over two UFC veterans in Jordan Radev and Luigi Fioravanti.
Daley will serve as the welcoming committee to Kazuo Misaki, who makes his long awaited welterweight debut in Strikeforce.
Misaki first signed with Strikeforce as reported by MMAWeekly.com in July 2011, but his return to the promotion won’t happen until nearly a year later. Now he gets a shot at one of the most dangerous strikers in the sport when he returns in March.
The two new bouts announced go alongside the bantamweight women’s title fight between Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey, as well as a potential No. 1 contender’s bout between Sarah Kaufman and Alexis Davis.
The headliner is expected to be the finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, pitting Josh Barnett against Daniel Cormier. The card takes place at The Nationwide Arena.