When Josh Thomson got the call from Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker about fighting on the Dynamite! New Year’s Eve card he wasn’t quick to jump at the chance.
The former lightweight champion wasn’t in training camp at the time when he got the call, and the proposed fight was only a few weeks away. Thomson mulled things over after talking to his trainers and decided to move forward with the fight and faces Tatsuya Kawajiri later today in Japan.
While the situation facing him wasn’t ideal, Thomson boils it down to the fact that he’s a fighter, and he’s going to go fight, and strangely enough he’s healthier for this fight than the last three he’s taken.
“I knew going into this fight whether you’re healthy or not, it’s like I could be 100% healthy and still lose and I could be hurt and still win. I haven’t had a full hard training camp without injuries in probably almost a year now. I think this camp here’s been the closest I’ve been to being healthy I guess. It’s been so short, I really haven’t had time to get hurt,” Thomson told MMAWeekly Radio.
“If this works out I may switch to 3 week camps.”
Thomson wasn’t overly shocked either at the timing of when he was asked to take the fight. Several Japanese promotions have been accused of last second fights to give potential opponents less time to prepare.
“The reason why the Japanese are so good is because their opponents don’t find out which Japanese fighter they’re fighting until two weeks before,” said Thomson. “In the meantime, these fighters have known they were fighting for the last 10 weeks. I’m going to go out there and give it all I got, I think it’s going to be a great fight.”
Short notice or not, Thomson is prepared to go into the fight with Kawajiri and give it his all, and hopes to walk out of Japan with another win on his record.
“I knew going into it, no excuses, whether I took the fight on short notice or not, injuries all aside, you win some, you lose some, and like I’ve said before I never put the pressure on myself to win. I just go out there and perform, and whatever happens, happens,” Thomson commented.
One other concern that had to be raised before the final declaration of Thomson’s involvement are the multitude of pay problems that have been reported by fighters after competing in Dream. Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante has stated that he still has not been paid for his last fight there, as well as former UFC and Pride fighter Gary Goodridge who has apparently gone more than a year since fighting there and still has not received his payment.
Thomson talked about the pay problems with his management and with Strikeforce, but feels confident he’ll have the money when it’s all said and done.
“It was something that was talked about. Not just from my point of view, from my manager’s point of view, that’s their job,” said Thomson. “You know Dewayne Zinkin and Bob Cook and even Javier Mendes my trainer, that was really the first concern that came up.
“The day I accepted the fight, that night the Gary Goodridge story ran about him not being paid, so it turned into a bit of an issue, but we got it ironed out within a day on making sure checks would be coming in and pay would be coming in and that was it.”
After that, the focus for Thomson went back to a quick, short camp to prepare for Kawajiri. With the fight just hours away, Thomson is confident that when the two lightweights step into the ring, he’ll be the one walking out with a win.
“I’m going to go out there and I’m going to fight at a pace that I don’t think he’s going to be able to maintain,” Thomson stated. “I’m going to out there and fight at an extremely fast pace and hope for the best.”