Mitsuhiro IshidaDespite Josh Thomson’s willingness to fight with a still injured leg, he will not be defending his lightweight title against Gilbert Melendez on the Aug. 15 Strikeforce card.

According to MMA Fanhouse, Thomson could not receive medical clearance for the bout. Strikeforce has stepped up to the plate though and found a solid replacement. Instead, Mitsuhiro Ishida will step in and fight Melendez for the Strikeforce Interim Lightweight Championship.

Mitsuhiro Ishida will replace Josh Thomson against Gilbert Melendez at the Aug. 15 “Carano vs. Cyborg” Strikeforce event. Strikeforce director of communications, Mike Afromowitz, confirmed the news with FanHouse on Thursday.

Thomson (16-2) could not receive medical clearance from his doctor and has been once again forced out of a scheduled title defense. It is the same leg injury that forced him out of a title defense against Melendez (15-2) in April.

Afromowitz also confirmed that the fight will be for Melendez’s interim title and will be five rounds.

Strikeforce sure is serious about having four title fights on this card, aren’t they? They built it up to four, lost three and still managed to rebuild the card with four quality title fights. Impressive.

By the way, Ishida-Melendez is a rematch. Ishida handed Melendez his first career loss on NYE 2007 at Yarennoka.

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