Hills and Valleys: The ups and downs of Josh Thomson

The former Strikeforce lightweight champ Josh Thomson is facing off with Gesais "JZ" Cavalcante on Saturday. It's one more chance for Thomson to get back to a hill, after a career filled with hills and valleys.

Hermes Hill: After beating Gerald Strebendt at UFC 44, Thomson won a majority decision over Hermes Franca at UFC 46. That set him up for a bout with Yves Edwards.

Valley of the Flying Head Kick: Edwards disposed of Thomson in the first round. After that loss, Thomson fought one bout in Pride before heading to his new home, Strikeforce. Thomson lost his first Strikeforce bout, a title scrap with Clay Guida. Though Guida moved to the UFC not long after this bout, Thomson became a Strikeforce mainstay.

Title Shot Hill: After the Guida loss, Thomson worked his way back to another title shot with submission wins over Harris Sarmiento, Rocky Johnson and Duane Ludwig. In 2006, he won a unanimous decision over Nam Pham, and followed that up with a submission of Nick Gonzalez and TKO of Adam Lynn.

Mt. Champion: On June 27, 2008, Thomson squared off with old friend Gilbert Melendez for the Strikeforce lightweight belt. Thomson all five rounds on the judges' cards.

Valley of the Broken Ankle: Strikeforce gave Thomson a non-title bout with Ashe Bowman at the promotion's second Playboy Mansion show. After that, they scheduled a rematch between Thomson and Melendez for April of 2009. While training for that fight, Thomson broke his ankle, pushing the fight back to August. When August came, Thomson was still not fully healed. Strikeforce then moved the bout to December.

No More Belt Valley: When Thomson and Melendez finally did meet, they put on a five-round war, considered by many to be the fight of the year in 2009. Melendez came away with the unanimous decision and the Strikeforce lightweight championship belt.

Comeback Hill: Thomson won his next bout after losing his championship belt, a bout with Pat Healy. Thomson pulled off a late submission to secure the win.

This brings us to Thomson's bout with Cavalcante. Do you think it will be a hill or valley for the former champ?

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