Josh Thomson Ignores the Little Dogs Barking, Locks His Sights on Benson Henderson

June 25, 2013
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Josh ThomsonFollowing several years of inconsistent scheduling and sporadic results, Josh Thomson finally made his return to the Octagon by squaring off with Nate Diaz at UFC on Fox 7 in April 2013.

Thomson spent much of the past eight or nine years fighting for Strikeforce, but found it difficult to fight consistently due to scheduling and injuries. He managed an eight-fight winning streak at one point, but went 3-3 in his six most recent fights prior to his UFC return, leading many to believe his best days were behind him.

Such assessments were likely shadowed by the dimmer lights he had been fighting under.

Many wrote Thomson off before he ever set foot back in the Octagon, but the one-time UFC title contender wasted no time putting a stamp on his return, embracing the return of the white-hot spotlight. He did something no other fighter has ever done: he knocked Nate Diaz out.

Once he did that, other fighters came out of the woodwork wanting to fight him.

Donald Cerrone, who was instead booked to fight Rafael dos Anjos, was one such fighter; Diego Sanchez was another.

Thomson will fight anyone they put in front of him… with one caveat. Whoever they put in front of him has to lead Thomson to his end game: UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson.

“Do you think the lion turned around every time a little dog barked? No,” Thomson responded when asked about all the fighters calling him out.

“I’m focused on one guy. I’m focused on Benson, that’s it. I don’t really care about anybody else.

“I told the UFC before I came over (from Strikeforce), whoever you guys want me to fight so I can line up to fight Benson, that’s who I want to fight.”

There’s nothing personal between Thomson and Henderson. Like most other fighters, Thomson just wants to fight for the title and believes a match-up with Henderson would be spectacular.

“I think you could potentially see something like the Gil (Melendez) and Thomson thing again,” Thomson said about fighting Henderson, referring to the trilogy of bouts he had with his fellow former Strikeforce champion. “Stylistically, I think we match up well.

“I like the way he fights, but I think I can beat him.”

That’s not to say that Thomson is at all sure about how he’d go about beating Henderson, as he thinks they are both complete mixed martial artists with few holes in their respective games.

“There’s nothing I can take away from him,” said Thomson. “He’s that step that I am. We’re well rounded at everything, we’re not great at anything, we’re just good at all of them, and it makes for great fights.”

Benson Henderson is currently slated to face TJ Grant in the UFC 164 main event on Aug. 31 in Milwaukee. Thomson, meanwhile, awaits his next assignment.

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  • robc

    T. J. Grant has been on a great streak but unfortunately Thompson is going to go through him in short order. I expect when he fights Benson, Benson will get another squeaky split decison win. Is Benson the new king of decisions in the UFC (taking the crown from GSP)? Guess we will see.

    • Jay Nokay

      Grand and Henderson are fighting already, August 31st.

    • Sir_Roy

      Only GSP’s decisions are dominant and without question. Benson’s have been razor close of late.

    • fsunoles10

      haha thomson would run thru grant in short order huh? i doubt he would even get thru maynard let alone grant bud.

  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    Thompson lost to Melendez last year. Why not make a rematch there? If he’s all that, than he should be able to beat Gilbert now. My conclusion, Nate Diaz was over rated in the first place. I can’t believe Bendo couldn’t finish him.

    • julian moran

      Thompson/Melendez 4, not interested.

    • JDMMA

      listen to this tard !!! Nate Diaz was over-rated, guy was never finished ever even at 170 lbs has most finishes at LW… idiots like you shouldn’t be allowed to live in the free world !!!

      • The Best Eva

        I agree with the first part. Nate is not over rated he probably has the best bottom game in the division.

        • demonangel

          Yeah um no that devision has shinya aoki in it…

          • The Best Eva

            I’m talking UFC not guys that are afraid of it.

            Not to mention his stupid pants that give him a big advantage.

  • RealMMA

    Still one of my favorite Thomson fights

  • kbroesq

    I’m surprised by the comments. Thompson didn’t just beat Nate Diaz; he knocked him out to the point where his corner threw in the towel…that’s a corner with Nick Diaz. You think Nick Diaz would throw a towel in for anything less than a complete beating?

    I think Thompson should be fighting Grant and the winner should get Henderson. Thompson has only lost a handful of times (5 I think), and two of those were to Melendez, one being by split decision. He was also, like his name states, a punk when he was younger.

    Face it: Thompson is a good, young, well rounded fighter with a heck a lot of experience and five round experience with world class talent. Give him some love, people!

    • fsunoles10

      yes i do actually, that was his brother getting head kicked. im sure nate wasnt as hurt as it seemed by the way diaz threw the towel in but i would think your brother is a lot more likely to do it than anybody else. thing is though he just beat a guy that was dominated by henderson and hes calling people little dogs? cmon now son i can think of more than a few lightweights that i would pick over him in a fight.

      • kbroesq

        Let’s not get into the MMA math. If we did, I could legitimately say that Henderson just had a heck of a lot of trouble with Melendez (some people think he lost), and Thompson has beat Melendez, and fought with him for 75 minutes. Whether or not you think Henderson won his last fight, certainly Thompson did a lot better than Henderson did in his last fight against Melendez.

    • drkdisciple

      Grant has done more then enough to get his title fight…why does everyone want to sc*w him over? How about Thompson simply fight another top 10 guy like Cerrone, Maynard or even that loud mouth Pettis and then talk about a title fight?

      • kbroesq

        Yeah, another top ten fighter like Grant. It’s funny, Grant has only faced one top ten fighter in his win streak. Thompson beat Diaz, Healy, and nearly beat Melendez. That is such a talented mix of standup, wrestling and ground game that he has done well against.

        Is it really that offensive to you that I equate Grant and Thompson and think that a title eliminator isn’t a bad idea?

        And why would Thompson fight Maynard? That makes no sense. Cerrone would be a good fight.

  • ChuangTzu14

    This article shows how little people know about mma. It’s impossible to know just how good a fighter is until they fight the top guys.

    I’ve always thought Thomson was one of the best. You could tell watching the guy.

    With no other clear contenders, Thomson’s next fight should be for No. 1 contender.

  • The Best Eva

    He should fight the top contender than a title shot would be fine.

  • fudge

    I think grant is going to knock Henderson out within 2 rounds