UFC on FOX 7 is tantalisingly close now, and with a stacked card full of potential barnburners, let's check out one of the most interesting matches on the card. Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson is a match up between the last two title challengers in the Lightweight division of UFC and Strikeforce.
Nate Diaz was last in action against the current UFC Lightweight Champ Benson Henderson, a match which saw Henderson control Diaz in all positions. Thomson is coming off a close split decision loss to the last Strikeforce 155lb. boss Gilbert Melendez. Both these guys should be looking to win with authority and prove there worth in a division which is fast becoming one of the most talent heavy on the planet.
Thomson trains at AKA and is a black belt in BJJ, so he is well-rounded and able to take the fight wherever it needs to be. The former Strikeforce LW Champ has never been submitted in MMA competition, and something that will help him against Diaz is good submission defense. Thomson will also have to have some good boxing skills because Diaz's stand up has improved massively of late, just ask Donald Cerrone.
Where I think Diaz may struggle is with Thomson's wrestling, case in point-Bendo. Ben Henderson absolutely controlled Nate on the ground , smothering him and brushing off his submission attempts with ease. Thomson trains at AKA who are known for having great wrestlers, so Nate really needs to have worked his TDD or he may be in for a long night with Thomson.
Thomson has been known for getting in to brawls in recent fights, a move which might prove foolish against Diaz who posesses high accuracy and will do damage in that sort of fight. The reality of this fight is that Diaz has the nod on the feet, and Thomson can dominate it on the mat if his submission defense is tight.
I think this is going to be a closely contested battle throughout, a lot of back and forth striking stanzas, scrambles for position and chaotic exchanges. Look for Thomson to work the ground and pound. In my opinion, Diaz is at a disadvantage in this fight, so he needs to bring it like theres no tomorrow and force Thomson to fight where he isn't comfortable.
You know, I can't call this one. I know its going to be a war, its going to be close. My gut tells me it will be a Diaz night, but my head tells me Thomson will take it. What is your prediction?