Josh Thomson, a veteran of the Strikeforce, PRIDE, UFC and Bellator cages, has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.
Thomson, 41, announced his retirement from the sport on his Weighing In podcast on Tuesday.
“I can say that I’m officially retired,” Thomson began.
Thomson continued, explaining that his decision has a lot to do with the damage he has taken in his recent fights. He added that he’s also been taking more punishment in training.
“I realized I was taking more shots than I should be taking,” Thomson said of his decision. “I don’t want to live that lifestyle. I don’t want to be in there and be a punching bag to anybody. I was taking more [damage] in training [too].
“That’s the thing, people only see the ones you take in the fight,” Thomson continued. “They don’t realize that you’re taking more [shots] in training, too. There’s young, talented studs in my gym. Those guys are whooping your ass too, it’s not just the one guy in the cage that you’re fighting. It’s the lead-up to it. It’s all the other shots you take in there. That’s the hardest part.”
Thomson began fighting professional in 2001. In 2008, he captured the Strikeforce lightweight belt with a victory over fellow veteran Gilbert Melendez. Other highlights of his illustrious fighting career include triumphs over top-flight foes like Kajan Johnson, Duane Ludwig, Nam Phan, Pat Healy, Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante, KJ Noons, and Nate Diaz. He retires with an overall record of 22–9, with an additional no contest in 2001 fight with the late, great Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto.
Although Thomson has closed the curtains on his fighting career, he’ll remain closely involved in the sport as he works as an analyst and commentator for Bellator MMA.
Congrats to Josh Thomson on an epic MMA career!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/28/2020.