5 Reasons UFC Fighter Josh Thomson Deserves A Title Shot At Winner Of Benson Henderson Vs. Anthony Pettis
5 Reasons UFC Fighter Josh Thomson Deserves A Title Shot
When he's not spouting his conservative politics, UFC lightweight Josh Thomson is usually beating people up. The San Jose, Calif., resident is one of the A-listers at San Jose's American Kickboxing Academy, along with the likes of UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and contender Daniel Cormier. Thomson is coming off a shocking TKO victory over UFC star Nate Diaz and is looking to win UFC gold. The April 20, 2013 victory marked the return of Thomson to the UFC after a successful career in Strikeforce, where he held the lightweight championship and waged some epic battles with Strikeforce fighter Gilbert Melendez. Officially, he won one of three fights against Melendez, but he made himself a star along the way and arguably beat Melendez, but lost a wacky decision in the third fight in the trilogy. With his dirty boxing, strong wrestling skills and fearless attitude, Thomson is one of those guys who leaves it all in the cage (See, opposite of Tim Kennedy). He fights to death, can take a great punch and looks like he is having fun along the way. It seemed like he put himself in line for a shot after making Diaz look like he was the little cousin you pick up and body slam in the backyard because he keeps egging you on over whether you can fight or night. Much to everyone's surprise, TJ Grant got the title shot, but when Grant got injured, UFC President Dana White chose Anthony Pettis instead. Pettis, who holds a victory over Benson Henderson, may deserve a title shot too, but the world will likely soon find out that Thomson is money, and that he should and will one day fight for a UFC title. When he does, it's guaranteed he will fight like there's no tomorrow.
No. 5: Josh Thomson Is Fearless And An Exciting Fighter To Watch
You know how some guys just kind of hang out when they play basketball? They are never there when you need the big rebound and seem to disappear from the court when there's a big scuffle over the ball. That's not Thomson. If he's not swinging blows and hopping all over the cage, he's not happy. Thomson doesn't want to be part of the action. He is the action. We like a guy who can get punched in the face, smile and then egg his opponent on to do it again. This isn't Anderson Silva-style, where you act like you are fighting a five-year-old girl and put your hands down, or Nick Diaz-style, where you get hammered for five rounds and act like you are winning the fight. Thomson gets hit, asks his opponent to hit him again and then smiles at you like you are just a couple of guys playing a game of horse.
No. 4: Josh Thomson Is A Controversial Fighter
He probably didn't throw an Obama election party. Thomson is outspoken in his conservative political views. And that's OK. This is fighting afterall, and who cares if the guy inside the cage doesn't believe in health care for everybody. That's his deal. Thomson recently walked into the flames of controversy when he said legalizing gay marriage would lead to the legalization of "pedophilia and incest." Thomson undoubtedly speaks for a lot of fans out there, and even though he may be hyperbolic in his statements and on the losing end of history on the issue of gay marriage, he undoubtedly deserves mad props for speaking his mind and not being afraid to do so. What do you want in a fighter? Someone who's going to fight hard and fight for what he believes in, regardless of whether you agree with him. That's called respect.
No. 3: Josh Thomson Shows Up In Big Fights
Thomson holds victories over Gilbert Melendez, Pat Healy, KJ Noons and Nate Diaz. When you are fighting in Strikeforce, that's a pretty impressive roster of fighters to overcome. He won those fights because he fought like a teenage boy throwing it down in the backyard of his friend's house party because someone tried to punk his best buddy. Thomson fights like Scrappy Doo. He comes forward, swings and kicks with reckless abandon and usually smiles along the way. He knows how to wrestle, so he will hug you on the ground if he needs to, but it is rarely to the point when you start to feel uncomfortable watching. Even when he's down, he fights back, as evidenced by his submission victory over Healy in the Hexagon.
No. 2: Josh Thomson Probably Should Have Beaten Gilbert Melendez In Third Fight
Unless you are the hated Larry Holmes fighting Michael Spinks, trying to break the great Rocky Marciano's 49-0 undefeated streak, most champions have a champion's advantage in fights. Judges usually err on the side of the champion in close rounds. The feeling is that you have to really beat the champion in order to take the title. Well, when Thomson fought Gilbert Melendez the third time, Melendez clearly benefited from the champion's advantage. Had the fight been a non-title fight between two guys looking to earn a title shot, Thomson might have got his hand raised. The thing was Melendez didn't really do anything to win that fight either. Thomson pressed the action and Melendez sort of survived. The judges didn't do Melendez any favors in the end. Like the kid who teachers pass in high school just to move ahead rather than teach him anything, Melendez lost the same way Thomson lost when fought Benson Henderson for the UFC lightweight championship. Melendez didn't do enough to earn the judges' love, even though he probably beat Henderson that night. Thomson too should have regained the title on May 19, 2012, but instead lost a split decision.
No. 1: Josh Thomson Crushed Nate Diaz
Tom Brady doesn't usually throw interceptions inside the red zone. Nate Diaz doesn't usually get KTFO. Diaz is tough as nails like his brother Nick. They are warriors who don't back down. Diaz had just come off a decision loss to Benson Henderson when he stepped into the cage to fight Thomson. Although Henderson dominated, Diaz was never in any kind of trouble. There was no way Henderson was knocking Diaz out. He's too good for that, right? Wrong. Thomson surprised him with a vicious kick and then ground-and-pound and sent Nate back to Stockton with some serious thinking to do. Hunger matters. When you are fighter, you have to fight and push the action. If you want to play defense and rally, go take up tennis. Thomson, back in the UFC, live on FOX, proved to the world that he could knock out a top fighter, a guy who had never been knocked out before. That alone should land him a title shot.
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