Now that Strikeforce is over and done with, their roster of fighters can look forward to competing inside the Octagon and enjoying all the perks that come with it. The UFC is not wasting any time matching many of them up against some of the best fighters that they have to offer. One of those fighters is Josh Thomson who will be welcomed back to the organiation with a fight against a former number one contender.
Thomson will be facing former UFC lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz in San Jose on UFC on Fox 7 this May. It will be like old times as the event will be held in San Jose, the site of so many Strikeforce cards. Taking on a quality opponent like Diaz is something that Thomson asked for. As the old saying goes, ask and you shall receive.
“When we signed the contract with the UFC and I knew I’d be moving over I only had one request,” Thomson told BJPenn.Com Radio. “That request was to not fight anyone who couldn’t make it a fast way to the title. If I lose and you guys want to knock me back that’s one thing, but I think the fans and a lot of people felt like I beat Gilbert. If he’s getting an automatic title shot I feel like this is my opportunity to say that I felt like I won that fight. People within the UFC organization have expressed to me that they felt like I won that fight as well. I told them I don’t want to waste my time fighting someone who isn’t the fastest way to the title.”
“I feel like a win over Nate, given the fact that he just fought Benson puts me right there in that title hunt. Whether I’m next in line that’s up to them (UFC), but I think that all depends on how I perform and I how I beat him. They’ve put me in the position that I’ve asked for, I want to fight the best guys. If they consider Nate to be one of the best given that he just fought Benson then that’s where I want to be.”
With Diaz and Thomson you have two very interesting, albeit, different personalities. Diaz likes to trash talk, scowl and give opponents the finger while Thomson is not afraid to voice his opinion. Diaz will do what he does best and try to get underneath Thomson’s skin, but being the professional Josh is, Diaz has a difficult task in front of him.
“I’m going to let him run and sell the fight,” offered The Punk. “I’ve never really had issues with any of the guys I’ve ever fought. If you’ve noticed I’ve never been a real big s**t talker, I’m confident in my skills and what I can do. That’s really what I rely on, if he wants to go ahead and trash talk that’s fine with me. We’ll know at the end of the fight who is winning and who will wind up trash talking.”
Being one of the top lightweights in the world it’s only natural that Thomson was an interested admirer when Diaz fought Henderson in December on the UFC on Fox 5 card. Henderson controlled the fight the entire 25 minutes which came as a surprise to many, but according to Thomson he didn’t see anything different in Diaz’s game that he thinks he can capitalize on. He’s well aware of what weaknesses are and how to take advantage of them.
“It’s been pretty well known for years, at least from my end, watching Nick compete in Strikeforce, that they really don’t check kicks,” Thomson offered. “Their grappling is good and people are afraid of their grappling. I’ve done a submission grappling match against Nate and I’m not afraid of it. There’s nothing I should be threatened by and there’s really no secret to how I can beat him. I feel confident enough to beat him anyway that I want. I can take him down and hump his leg like everyone thinks I’m going to. It’s a strong possibility, I may just take him down at will, he has no takedown defense and I can basically smother him to death.”
“I really don’t feel there’s a submission threat there, he’s really good on the ground and I’m not taking anything away from his skills. I feel like I’m good enough to nullify his skills, I’m not concerned with his BJJ at all. As far as his standup goes, he’s a long lanky southpaw. I think everyone has problems with that, but I’ve shown I have fast hands. I can land combinations and obviously I kick a lot. I’ve seen both of them fight for years and only time will tell when we get in the ring and we see what happens.”"bj Penn", bjpenndotcom, BJPennDotCom Radio, blogtalk radio, featured, Glibert Melendez, Josh Thomson, MMA NEWS, mma podcasts, nate diaz, Strikeforce, strikeforce lightweight champion, strikeforce lightweight championship, ufc news, ufc on fox 5, UFC on FOX 7