Press Release
Thomson Collides With Ludwig At Strikeforce Fresno Debut

August 27, 2006; New York, NY….Top lightweight contenders and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veterans Josh “The Punk” Thomson and Duane “Bang” Ludwig will battle it out in the cage during the Strikeforce mixed martial arts mega-card at Fresno, California’s 14,000 crowd capacity Save Mart Center on Saturday, October 7th. The victor of the matchup will be granted a shot at Strikeforce’s 155 pound limit championship held by undefeated Gilbert Melendez.

“It’s just another fight to me,” said the 27-year-old Thomson, who made a successful effort in his last start that came against Hawaii’s Harris Sarmiento during the June 9th Strikeforce “Revenge” card at San Jose, California’s HP Pavilion. In the third and final round of their matchup, Thomson forced Sarmiento into submission with an arm triangle choke. “Now I’m back on a winning streak and I’m just gonna keep whipping everyone’s ass in Strikeforce. I just want big money and big name fights.”

Thomson boasts a pair of victories in the UFC octagon and was triumphant in his sole start with Japan’s Pride Fighting Championship last July. His win over the dangerous Hermes Franca, which came in the form of a majority decision during UFC 46 on January 31, 2004, is still largely considered his best showing to date in the cage.

“I really wanted that fight because he had just beaten one of (my teammates) – Rich Crunkilton,” said Thomson of the defining matchup with Franca. “I just came in there very well conditioned and I wouldn’t quit.”

A former wrestling star for NCAA Division I Stanford University, Thomson found his calling in life when he discovered mixed martial arts half a dozen years ago. He has since rounded out his fight game by adopting the lethal striking art of Muay Thai and has gone as far as competing under Muay Thai rules twice. On both occasions, Thomson asserted his authority easily and stopped his opponent.

Ludwig’s appearance will come two months after the 28-year-old Denver, Colorado native staged another thrilling performance in K-1 competition in Las Vegas, Nevada. In “Superfight” action during the August 12th “Battle at Bellagio” affair, he was put to the test by a determined Fernando “Cool” Calleros and, after three rounds that were highlighted by heavy exchanges of kicks and punches, the bout was declared a draw.

A high-spirited competitor, Ludwig took hold of the ring announcer’s microphone after the decision was read and asked the crowd if it wished to see another round of action that could help determine a clear-cut winner. Ringside officials, however, did not permit an extension of the bout.