Josh Thornburg fights for the second time in 30 days on April 1. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com


Lightweight Conor Heun has been forced to withdraw from his April 1 bout with James Terry at Strikeforce Challengers 15 after suffering a torn knee ligament in training. The promotion announced on Monday that Nick Diaz-trained Josh Thornburg will step in to face Terry in a 165-pound catchweight contest at the event, which goes down at Stockton Arena in Thornburg’s backyard of Stockton, Calif.

Thornburg, 26, will have a quick turnaround, competing less than one month after his exciting, though unsuccessful, three-round brawl with Roger Bowling at “Feijao vs. Henderson” on March 5.

“There’s no such thing as a moral victory and I was very disappointed I couldn’t get it done [against Bowling],’’ Thornburg stated in a release. “Going in, I was super confident. But I appreciate that I’m getting a chance to come right back and fight in my hometown on Showtime.’’

Prior to dropping his Strikeforce debut to Bowling, the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu representative had notched back-to-back submission wins on local California cards. Since turning pro in July 2009, Thornburg has compiled a 6-2 record, including four wins by submission and one knockout.

A pupil of former Strikeforce middleweight champ Cung Le, Terry has won four of his five bouts since joining the promotion in April 2009, his only defeat coming at the hands of welterweight prospect Tarec Saffiedine. The Livermore, Calif., native owns a record of 9-2; though six of his wins have come via decision, his last outing was a first-round TKO win over Thornburg’s teammate, Lucas Gamaza, at January’s “Diaz vs. Cyborg.”

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