Strikeforce has indeed contacted Mitsuhiro Ishida as a potential replacement for injured lightweight champ Josh Thomson. If Strikeforce is successful in procuring his services, Ishida would face former champ Gilber Melendez in a rematch of their 2007 bout which Ishida won by decision.
This is exciting news and could be a great matchup. Ishida beat Melendez on NYE 2007, handing the then-undefeated Melendez his first loss. Since that time Gilbert has gone 1-1. A loss to Ishida in a rematch would put him at 1-3 in the last two years and put the one time top ten lightweight in a career tailspin.
I'm presuming that Coker is desperate enough for an opponent for Melendez that he won't be trying to force exclusivity on Ishida. That's a good sign for the promotion as their ability to import top Japanese fighters like Ishida and Kazuo Misaki significantly deepens their talent pool.
Looks like Coker is busy trying to find a legitimate opponent for Melendez.
This is the rematch that I've been waiting to see. Even a better fight that the Thomson in my book.