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Ishida in for Thomson, to Face Melendez For Strikeforce Interim Title

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.

Thomson had hinted at a withdrawal from the card earlier in the week in a radio appearance on MMAJunkie radio but later backtracked by saying that he'll fight no matter what.

Melendez lost the Strikeforce lightweight belt to Thomson in June 2008 via unanimous decision and three months ago captured the interim belt via KO over Rodrigo Damm. Ishida is the only other fighter who holds a victory over Melendez. He defeated "El Nino" at the Yarennoka! New Year's Eve event in December 2007.

Above is the second of half of Melendez-Ishida I. Click here to watch the first half.

Ariel Helwani contributed to this report.