by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com
Nick “The Goat” Thompson will defend his Bodog welterweight championship belt tonight in Las Vegas against undefeated opponent John Troyer.
Thompson has been on a tear in his last nine fights. Not only has he defeated his last nine opponents; he’s finished all of them.
MMAWeekly Radio caught up with Thompson recently to talk about his training for this fight.
“This has been the best camp I’ve ever had,” he exclaimed. “I can’t wait to get back in the ring.”
Thompson was last seen in August defeating Mark Weir, so this will be the first time fans have seen him in about five months.
Bodog Fight started off its promotion very strong by signing Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Lindland, as well as Eddie Alvarez, Aaron Riley and Antonio Silva. Unfortunately, Bodog has had a tough time turning a profit within their promotion. This is the last fight on Nick Thompson’s contract and, more than likely, his last fight for Bodog for the time being. Fighting top guys is a priority to Thompson, but it’s not the only reason for his likely exit.
“It’s not only that I want to fight top guys, but I want top exposure.” The top guys and the top exposure obviously lie with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. However, there is a big issue that could deter Thompson from ending up there. “(The UFC) is something I’m interested in. That’s where the top guys are. But the financial issues are equally big and I’ve got some lucrative offers from other organizations,” explained Thompson.
His opponent on Friday night, John Troyer, is relatively unknown to the Minnesota native.
“I don’t know much about him. He hasn’t really fought any real tough guys. It could be a case that he’s a guy that hasn’t fought anybody, or he could be a legit guy who hasn’t fought anybody. We’ll find out the night of the fight.”
This will be Troyer’s first fight in the main event of a big organization, so it is unknown how he will react.
“He could freeze up in the ring or it could energize him,” said Thompson.
Some fighters depend on their instincts to take over in a fight and just react. Thompson, on the other hand, believes that studying the opponent is in his best interests.
“I think it depends on the individual guy. I like to watch videos, personally, because I like to think in the ring. I think strategy a lot. I think that gives me an edge.”
Thompson trains out of the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy with tough competitors like former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk, Brock Larson, Brock Lesnar and Derrick Noble. While gyms like Xtreme Couture, Greg Jackson’s Submission Fighting and Miletich Fighting Systems garner a lot of notoriety, Thompson believes his team is right up there with any of them.
“I would put our gym, in terms of quality, right up there with the best gyms in the world. We have Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts. We have national champion wrestlers. We have elite Muay Thai strikers. We got some judo guys.”
With this fight being the last on his contract, Thompson is in a very precarious situation where a loss could hurt his market value. However, the welterweight standout is not taking Troyer lightly and he offers a simple prediction.
“The only thing I can predict is I’m gonna win. I’m well rounded and I’m going to look for whatever opportunity he gives me. I’m not swinging for a knockout. I’m not jumping for an armbar. I’m looking to win.”