November 9, 2006; New York, NY….Off the heels of his victory over fellow top contender Duane “Bang” Ludwig, lightweight (155 lb.) mixed martial arts sensation, Josh “The Punk” Thomson, will face another dangerous adversary in 23-year-old rising star, Nam Phan, during Strikeforce’s “Triple Threat” world championship mixed martial arts fight card being presented by BodogFIGHT at San Jose, California’s HP Pavilion on Friday, December 8th.
The 28-year-old Thomson reaffirmed his status as one of mixed martial arts’ top lightweights on Friday, October 7th when he handled Ludwig, a world Muay Thai champion and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran, with relative ease during Strikeforce’s first-ever card at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. Thomson, a former standout wrestler for NCAA Division I powerhouse, Stanford University, neutralized Ludwig’s knockout power and gradually wore the Denver, Colorado native down until he found the opportunity to submit Ludwig with a guillotine choke in the second round of action.
“You’re gonna see some of the same stuff from me that you saw when I fought Duane,” said a confident Thomson from his home in San Jose. “I’m not gonna waste any time and circle. I’m gonna come out and just start throwing big punches and own this fight from beginning to end.”
Phan, a resident of Westminster, California, has blazed a trail through the sport’s 155 lb. weight class, notching wins over his last seven opponents to bring his overall record to a solid 12-2. His flashy, aggressive use of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has kept fans on the edge of their seats time and time again.
“(Josh)’s taller than me and has a pretty big reach advantage so I want to get on the inside and get a takedown,” said Phan of the task ahead of him. “I’ve been working my boxing too so I think I’ll be okay on my feet if I can’t take him down.”
In an effort to become a more hybrid fighter, Phan has not only hired a boxing trainer, but has also experimented with his hands in the squared circle on one occasion. In his professional boxing debut in June, Phan stopped Julio Vargas in two rounds of battle.
“I would say he’s one of the best grapplers on the west coast,” said Thomson of his opponent’s skill level. “Hopefully, his ground game will go out the door when I start throwing blows on him. As far as on the feet, I know that he won’t be foolish enough to stand with me.”
Phan is one of two Vietnamese Americans that will see action on the December 8th Strikeforce card. The other, undefeated world San Shou kickboxing champion, Cung Le, will attempt to extend his mixed martial arts record to 3-0. Le, who boasts a 16-0 record in the sport of kickboxing, will square off with Jason “Live Wire” Von Flue, a veteran of Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter reality series.
Tickets for Strikeforce “Triple Threat” are on sale at Ticketmaster (408-998-TIXS) and Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com) as well as at the HP Pavilion box office (408-287-7070). Tickets are priced at $200.00, $150.00, $100.00, $75.00, $50.00, and $40.00, and $30.00.
The December 8th card will feature Strikeforce’s first-ever 205 pound light heavyweight championship bout. Bobby Southworth, a veteran of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, will face off with hard-hitting road warrior and K-1 and Pride Fighting Championship veteran, Vernon “Tiger” White, for the vacant crown.
Old rivals Eugene “The Wolf” Jackson and Ronald “The Machine Gun” Jhun will collide for the second time in their careers. Jhun is looking for payback eight years after Jackson submitted him with a forearm choke during a contest in Hawaii.
Strikeforce’s 155 pound lightweight champion, Gilbert Melendez, will likewise attempt to extend his perfect record to 14-0 when the San Francisco, California native mixes it up with an opponent that has yet to be named.
Unbeaten submission wrestling stylist and former World Wrestling Entertainment “Tough Enough” reality show winner, Daniel Puder, will make his fourth career mixed martial arts appearance during “Triple Threat.”
The Strikeforce mixed martial arts event is being produced by Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment (SVS&E, www.svse.net), a leading producer of major sporting and entertainment events and the exclusive producer of such events for San Jose, California’s largest entertainment venue, HP Pavilion. SVS&E’s many properties include “Fight Night at the Tank” professional boxing; the National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks; and the annual ATP men’s professional tennis “SAP Open” event.
Strikeforce is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion that, on Friday, March 10th, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to 18,265 fans, the largest-ever attendance at a mixed martial arts fight card held in North America.