Josh Thomson faces Gilbert Melendez on May 19 in a rubber match for the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship. The fight has a lot of hype surrounding it because both fighters are ranked in in the top 10 of all credible MMA polling sources. Thomson has never been one to buy in to the hype of any of his fights or MMA fights in general because of what he believes are inevitable negative effects on performance.
“Over the years I’ve found that when there is so much hype surrounding a fight, especially when the two guys hate each other like Jones and Evans they end up fighting such a conservative fight. Neither guy wants to lose to the other. It turns in to such a boring fight and never lives up to the hype it was given”, said Josh.
Sometimes even with the momentum of the mainstream MMA hype machine a fight can fail to draw interest. Living in San Jose, California and surrounding himself daily with teammates and trainers almost makes Josh immune – even when it is the touted grudge match between UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and the number one contender for Jones’s belt, Rashad Evans.
“To be honest that Jones and Rashad fight didn’t interest me or anyone one in my gym really. They’re good fighters, but it wasn’t one of our guys in there, or a fight that really interested any of us. We’ve seen those types of fights before that start out with a lot of talk and just don’t deliver what they promise for one reason or another”, Thomson stated.
The effects of the hype machine aren’t always visible to the casual MMA fan’s eyes. Fighters like Josh who have been in the spotlight themselves can spot it easily.
“You usually saw Jon Jones fight a little more entertaining before that and Rashad is usually more aggressive and you didn’t see any of that. It ended up being kind of a lackluster fight. A lot of our guys have a lot of experience and we knew that was going to happen. It could have been a lot more memorable”, finished Thomson.
Jon Jones defeated Rashad Evans by unanimous decision at UFC 145.