EXCLUSIVE | AKA Coach Javier Mendez: Josh Thomson Deserves Title Shot | BJPenn.com Radio

May 23, 2013 8:20 pm by Jake Chastain


| AKA Coach Javier Mendez joined the boys over at BJPenn.com Radio on Wednesday night and discussed many hot topics swirling around the MMA world. One of the things Mendez found himself discussing was Josh Thompson’s amazing UFC return on April 20th where he knocked-out former title contender Nathan Diaz with a vicious head kick. Thompson, considered by some to be a top lightweight in the MMA ranks, has experienced his fair share of bad luck throughout his career; namely injuries. However, he is showing us his second surge and is looking better than ever. Coach Mendez discussed how Josh has dealt with those injuries and how he has continued to stay at the top of his game throughout that process:

“Well, you know, with Josh you hit it on the nail: the injuries. I remember a conversation him and I had when he kept having these injuries and he said, ‘hey, you know, Jav, I don’t know how much longer I can go, and my body, blah, blah, blah.’ ‘You know, Josh,’ I said, ‘you can do it. You still have it in you. As long as the injuries don’t happen, you still…I watch what’s going on in the gym and you’re at the top of your game. So as long as we keep you injury free, there’s no reason why you should be looking at your career ending soon. I think you got years to come. As long as you keep performing at the level you are now.’ And sure enough he’s kept himself healthy and, you know, look where he’s at now. I’ve always believed that Josh Thompson was one of the best in the world but most people did not because of the reason of the injuries.”

After getting a KO victory over Nate Diaz, who was coming in fresh off of a title fight with Benson Henderson, many fans have called Thompson a top threat in the UFC lightweight division. Some people have even made the case that Thompson is in line for a title shot, considering he just knocked-out one of the division’s top fighters. To those cries for a Thompson title shot Mendez said,

“I agree with you guys. 100%, I agree with you guys. But unfortunately we’re not the bosses. The bosses are making the decision on what they want and, you know, Josh’s job is to go out there and get another high profile fight and get a ‘W’ and then see where it takes him.”

The UFC lightweight division is loaded with talent and no fighter has a sure shot at the next crack at Benson Henderson. TJ Grant will face Gray Maynard this weekend at UFC 160 and many people are calling that bout a number one contender fight. Understanding that nothing in the UFC is definite and there are no guaranteed title shots, and also taking into consideration that Maynard has already been given two cracks at the UFC lightweight title, is Thompson a legitimate title contender in the UFC lightweight stables at this very point in time? Javier Mendez seems to have plenty of faith in his boy…what do all of you here at BJPenn.com think? Is Thompson a top-dog in the UFC lightweight division?

To listen to the entire interview with Javier Mendez on BJPenn.com Radio click here

-Jake Chastain


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