Josh Thomson (Pictures) may have struck a good balance of business and pleasure for his forthcoming trip to the Playboy Mansion.
The reigning Strikeforce lightweight king will now meet Lion's Den product Ashe Bowman (Pictures) on Strikeforce's second trek to Hef's House in Los Angeles on Sept. 20 in a three-round, non-title affair. Strikeforce's Mike Afromowitz confirmed the bout to Sherdog.com Friday.
The 29-year-old Thomson (15-2) is two months removed from the biggest win of his pro career, when he earned a lopsided five-round decision over highly regarded Cesar Gracie (Pictures) pupil Gilbert Melendez (Pictures) to win the Strikeforce 155-pound crown. The win pushed the talented Thomson's winning streak to seven straight since his March 2006 upset loss to Clay Guida (Pictures).
Bowman (6-4) edged out scrappy journeyman Jay Estrada (Pictures) during selections for the opportunity to face the top-10 ranked Thomson. Winner of six of his last seven, Bowman has competed largely on the local California scene under Lion's Den founder Ken Shamrock (Pictures)'s promotional banner.
The Thomson-Bowman bout joins Bobby Southworth (Pictures)'s Strikeforce light heavyweight title defense against Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Kazuo Misaki (Pictures) taking on Joe Riggs (Pictures) on the confirmed portion of the Sept. 20 “Strikeforce at the Mansion” card.