Sam Caplan apparently has reason to believe so.
With plans to secure separate opponents for Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson and the promotion’s former 155 pound king Gilbert Melendez apparently having following through, sources have informed FiveOuncesOfPain.com that Strikeforce officials could be set to announce in the coming days that the two will rematch each other on April 11 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
A source close to the bout informed us of the news earlier today but voice mail and text messages left for Strikeforce officials requesting comment about the matchup were not immediately returned.
If you remember, Thomson handily defeated Melendez last June to take his Strikeforce lightweight title. Since then, Thomson’s only faced Ashe Bowman (and won easily), and Melendez hasn’t fought anybody, so it appears Coker and co. must be running out of options.
The best opponents would have been Eddie Alvarez and KJ Noons, but neither will be available. Well, Noons chose not to be available, but that’s another story. Bellator is apparently willing to lend Alvarez and others to Strikeforce, but I’m fairly certain they don’t mean as early as April 11 smack dab in the middle of their tournament.
Nevertheless, I’m a little disappointed this is the best they could come up. Both are great fighters, but if you saw their first fight, you know there’s no compelling reason to book the rematch until Melendez racks up a couple of impressive wins, or Thomson loses.
I suppose beggars can’t be choosers though. Strikeforce and Showtime give us a quality alternative to the UFC, and their April 11 card was already looking pretty decent, so if Thomson vs Melendez II is the best they come up with, so be it. I’ll watch it with a grin from ear to ear.
Quick update: This one’s official.