Back in February, former Strikeforce lightweight champion and current Bellator lightweight contender Josh Thomson was knocked out in a fight with Patricky “Pitbull” Freire. Regrettably, the catalyst for the knockout seemed to be an inadvertent but illegal clash of heads.
Given this controversial end, Thomson moved to appeal the loss, hoping the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) would rule the fight a no-contest. Unfortunately, the CSAC opted not to change the official result – despite the fact that Thomson was not even present at the ruling to argue his case.
Having been deprived of the opportunity to speak his mind in person with the CSAC, Thomson then pushed for a face-to-face meeting, during which he hoped to finally change the bout’s official result. That face-to-face is happening right now, almost perfectly in tandem with the publication of this article.
The strange thing about all of this is that Thomson already knows the CSAC will once again deny his calls for a no-contest result.
Not long ago, the lightweight veteran received word from CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster that the result would not be changed. Instead, Thomson was told that, whether he attended the face-to-face meeting or not, the commission would offer to add an asterisk beside his loss; an unprecedented move that is intended to signify the bout’s controversial nature.
“[The CSAC] have also called me and talked to me,” Thomson said on his podcast Sammy and The Punk. “[They said], ‘hey you know what we are going to do? We are going to do something we have never done before. We are going to put an asterisk next to that win’. The commission said that. So they are going to put an asterisk next to that win. Like Barry Bonds and the home runs. But like I said, ‘you’re talking about an asterisk. Is anybody going to pay attention to an asterisk? No!’ I am the very first person that is going to have an asterisk next to their fight result. Like I said, you’re talking about an entire era and generation of cheating baseball players that you have put asterisks next to their names.”
When asked if he wanted this asterisk on his record, Thomson added:
“I’m probably not going to get it now that I am going through with this [appeal]. But no, I would never want an asterisk next to [the controversial loss]. No way.”
Thomson was also contacted by ever-diplomatic referee Big John McCarthy, who asked him if he really wanted to attend today’s meeting, knowing that the result of the fight would not be changed. Yet despite this unfortunate twist, he’ll still be showing up.
So, why has Thomson elected to travel to this meeting with the CSAC, knowing full well that he won’t get his desired no-contest, but a strange and unsatisfying asterisk instead? Well, as it turns out, the very next item on the CSAC agenda is a possible change to the appeal process, which would assure that all fighters are invited to attend their appeal rulings in person. This means that, going forward, fighters appealing losses with the CSAC will never be absent from the initial rulings as Thomson was. Needless to say, he wants to be there for that meeting to assure this undeniably positive change is made official.
Josh Thomson shared these details with BJPenn.com’s Chris Taylor, just hours ahead of his meeting with the CSAC. Stay tuned for further updates on Josh Thomson’s appeal process and this bizarre asterisk business.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/15/2017.