UFC lightweight Josh ‘The Punk’ Thomson found himself in a very beneficial position after TKOing Nate Diaz in his 2013 promotional re-debut; the former Strikeforce 155-pound boss was granted a shot at Anthony Pettis’ lightweight strap, only to be let down when ‘Showtime’ was forced out due to injury.
Thomson went on to lose a disappointing split decision against Ben Henderson at UFC on Fox 10, and even pondered retirement following his January showing against ‘Smooth’. According to a recent interview with MMAJunkie, ‘The Punk’ has his fire back and it’s all thanks to Gilbert Melendez getting the next title shot:
“There’s no doubt in my mind I’ve still got good fights in me,” Thomson said. “The thing is, a fighter needs to know when to walk away. As you get older, your speed goes, and once your speed goes, you’re dealing with these light guys, these small guys that are fast and young up-and-comers. That’s when you end up with problems. That’s how your career can end fast.”
“I’m happy for Gil that he got a good contract; I’m happy that Gil still is with the UFC,” Thomson said. “It just gives me one more person to get through to get to the title. I’m just sick to my stomach that it should have been me there. [Melendez] got two title shots in the amount of time that I should have gotten one. I’m just a little upset, that’s all. It just gets me remotivated and focused on what needs to happen.”
Melendez resigned with the UFC under a very profitable contract, and the shot at the title was truly the icing on the cake for ‘El Nino’. Thomson obviously feels hard done by, but maybe that motivation will get him the title shot he so desires.
“I’m healthy,” he said. “Once I’m ready to run, I can run 12 miles, 15 miles. It’s not a big deal. But just to know that Pettis was supposed to fight me and pulled out because of an injury, and now you have a guy that I feel I did beat the last time we fought in Strikeforce, and now with Benson, losing a very controversial split decision because of one judge that didn’t pull his head out, you can just tell, I’m getting pretty heated right now.”
Thomson is 35 and 2-3 in his last five showings, now is the time that he may be looking at his last realistic run at a title. An unbeaten streak between 2006-9 saw ‘The Punk’ ranked as one of the best lightweights around, so what is next on the agenda following his loss to Bendo?
“Hopefully, there’s a chance to welcome Jose Aldo to the lightweight division, and we’ll make a case from there,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”
A fight against Jose Aldo is a very interesting idea, but would the king of 145 move to lightweight for anything other than a title shot?
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