UFC's return to San Jose continues to grow and add compelling match-ups as the days go on. The latest bout added is another UFC vet taking on a Strikeforce vet.
This time it is Cesar Gracie Fight Team's Nate Diaz welcoming American Kickboxing Academy's Josh Thomson back into the octagon on April 20th at UFC on FOX 7.
[RELATED: Nate Diaz to face Thomson at 'UFC on FOX 7']
Diaz (16-8-0), whose last fight resulted in a loss to UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson in December, returns to the cage against a longtime foe of training partner Gilbert Melendez. Thomson (19-5-1) hasn't fought since his loss to Melendez on May 19th, which also took place in San Jose.
Thomson last fought in the UFC in August of 2004, when he suffered a first-round KO loss to Yves Edwards. His return, and Melendez's scheduled title fight against Benson on the same card, signifies the growth of an already competitive weight class.
With plenty of lightweights being added to the UFC roster since the folding of Strikeforce, it was a matter of time before these two top 155 pounders met. Thomson is a former champion, so expect him to be on attack mode as he will likely push for a title shot if he wins. Diaz, on the other hand, is in the midst of working his way back to contention after losing to Henderson.
Both fighters have their strengths. Diaz is a phenomenal striker and grappler, but has had issues with wrestlers in the past. Thomson is considered an elite wrestler at 155 and trains with a strong group of grapplers at AKA. Look for these two lightweights to push the pace and utilize their strengths to try and overpower their opponent.
April is just a few months away, but Northern California fight fans have their eyes on another stacked UFC on FOX card. This card, like other Northern California fight cards, will be heavy with fighters from the region. Thomson, Diaz, Melendez and Daniel Cormier have all been announced to be on the card. Expect several others to be added as this card continues to fill out.
Nitesh Dutt is a Production Assistant at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @NiteshDutt.