When it comes to saying incredibly stupid things out loud, UFC contender Josh Thomson is one of the pound-for-pound greatest talents in MMA.
This time, Thomson made headlines following a recent interview with Fox Sports, where he boldly, carelessly, unflinchingly claims that fighters competing above 170 pounds simply aren’t real mixed martial artists:
“With 55-pounders and below, good luck, man. Everybody’s good all around — they’re good wrestlers, they’re good jiu-jitsu guys, they’re good standup guys, they’re game to throw down and they’re always in shape.
“You start getting in the 185s, 205, heavyweight, they start being one-dimensional, two-dimensional fighters. They’re not mixed martial artists. They’re not as good as the 55-pounders and below. They’re just not. To me that’s just a fact.”
There’s so much wrong with Thomson’s statement it’s almost funny. Only a fool would say that Anderson Silva or Jon Jones aren’t real mixed martial artists. Gegard Mousasi, Ryan Bader, Francis Carmont, Rashad Evans and Fabricio Werdum are just more names on the list of well-rounded, high-level talents that fans could cite without hesitation. And that’s nothing to speak of legions of MMA fighters outside the UFC who have stellar skills in several areas.
Moreover, plenty of fighters below 170 pounds are far from “complete” MMA talents. It doesn’t take an MMA expert to show that Thomson is simply wrong; the real question is whether he’s ignorant or just unintelligent.
It’s especially disappointing considering whom Thomson trains with at the American Kickboxing Academy. Ironically, three of its very best fighters compete in heavier divisions:
• Luke Rockhold (Middleweight)
• Daniel Cormier (Light Heavyweight & Heavyweight)
• Cain Velasquez (Heavyweight)
But this is sadly par for the course with Thomson, who recently used his Twitter and Facebook accounts to publicly equate gay marriage with incest and pedophilia — statements that he was later forced to retract — while also blaming the MMA media for taking his words out of context. At this point, one can only assume that Thomson is both under-educated and shamelessly self-involved, willing to say anything that will stir up talk of his next fight.
That’s extremely unfortunate, given his own talents, but it’s apparent that Thomson feels he can’t draw attention on the merits of his own MMA career. If he loses his next fight to Bobby Green at UFC on Fox 12 this Saturday, fans can probably expect more baseless, inaccurate statements from the aging MMA veteran.