This Saturday Night: Nathan Diaz vs Josh Thomson

It’s been 9 years since we’ve last seen Josh Thomson (19-5) inside the UFC. To a large portion of fans that will be tuning in to watch UFC on FOX, he’s practically an unknown. They have no knowledge of his constant injuries, of his personality quirks or the fact that one time Frank Shamrock claimed Thomson came out of the closet (he didn’t and he’s not gay; it was Frank being Frank).

To the people who are familiar with his prizefighting craft, he’s one of the most entertaining fighters around. His UFC fights are all worth watching. When recommending the best sub-3 minute fights in the UFC, I would often bring up Thomson’s scrap with Gerald Strebendt in 2003. He was last seen in the UFC back in August 2004 competing against Yves Edwards. The fight that involved the two most accomplished lightweights in the UFC – in 2004 – ended when Thomson was the recipient of the best headkick KO seen in the UFC at the time.

Since then, he’s been involved in some fantastic fights in Strikeforce. He’s probably best known for producing what is arguably the best trilogy in MMA history with Gilbert Melendez. Even though Thomson lost against Melendez in their latest fight, he looked as good as he’s had in years.

Nathan Diaz (16-8) was on the best run of his career as he worked his way towards a title shot against Benson Henderson. Donald Cerrone got a boxing lesson that he’ll never forget. Jim Miller has never bitten his tongue quite like that before Diaz forced him to. Unfortunately for Diaz, those twenty-five minutes in the cage with Henderson had to be the worst paliza Diaz has ever taken in MMA competition.

This is an important fight for both men. Diaz is looking to redeem himself after losing a terribly one-sided fight. Who better to prove yourself than against the man who’s given Melendez – Diaz’s long-time amigo/training partner – his toughest fights? For Thomson, this is his last shot to prove that he has something to offer at the major-league level in MMA.

Stylistically speaking, Thomson has some good wrestling that could potentially give Diaz issues. Last year, he took Melendez down and even took his back in their final encounter. Too bad this lightweight tilt isn’t five rounds. I think this match is going to deliver more action than Boys Town in Reynosa.

Powered by