by Steven Marrocco – MMAWeekly.com
Six months ago, Nick “The Goat” Thompson thought he was a fighter with a law degree. But when fights stopped coming in the last half of 2008, he wondered if he was the opposite.
“I’ve got this $100,000 degree, I’ve been paying on that, and I can’t find any fights,” said Thompson. “It doesn’t really matter how good you are if you can’t find fights. The law was looking a lot more attractive an option.”
An existing deal with Sengoku didn’t bring work. He scraped together two fights in January and February, at a pay cut, before his EliteXC contract was purchased by Strikeforce. A variety of options were on the table, but none came to fruition.
So, he kept looking. Bellator was interested, but wouldn’t get in the way of Strikeforce. His quote was too high for most regional shows.
He went back to Strikeforce and asked again. They came back with an option, maybe the only option: fight Tim Kennedy as a middleweight at Strikeforce Challengers Series on June 19 in Kent, Wash.
“Yeah, it wasn’t very good,” Thompson said of his time at 185. “It’s been a while. I fought there my first 20 or 30 fights, but I’m not a 185-pound fighter. I think more than anything (Strikeforce matchmaker) Bob Cook just wanted to give me a fight because he understood that I was upset. I’ll take it for what it is. I’m not happy that I don’t have the choice to fight at 170.”
Thompson is currently ranked ninth in MMAWeekly’s welterweight rankings.
“I’ve never had this problem in five years and 50 fights,” he said. “I think I’m an exciting fighter. Maybe it’s just one of those things that happens to every fighter at one point.”
His deal with Strikeforce expires in July, and his Sengoku deal may end a month later, at which point he will re-assess his position. Strikeforce has yet to announce his middleweight match-up.
A Sengoku welterweight tournament is expected for the fall, so work might be found there.
“I don’t know if I’ll stay with them as well,” he said. “Maybe (I’ll talk) to the UFC. My wife’s pregnant, so it’s not really a good time for me not to be fighting.”
As for his other career option, he’ll resist it as long as possible.
“I like law, but I can always be a 40-year-old attorney,” he said. “I can’t be a 40-year-old fighter. Up until now I was providing for my family and doing something I love – what could be better than that? But this last couple of months, I’ve had to rethink that.”
Kennedy, an IFL and HDNet Fights veteran, is what he calls a “true 185’er,” so he’s getting ready to push around a lot more weight.
“Beggars can’t be choosers,” he said “I’ll do my best. I have no excuse; I just have to get ready. I’m glad they gave me the fight. I’ll do that and see what comes next.”