It’s been over a year and a half since Bellator heavyweight James “The Colossus” Thompson last stepped foot in the cage, but finally he’s ready to get back to fighting and face a foe he’s been slated to meet multiple times during his time away.
Originally slated to face Bobby Lashley in a rematch earlier this year, Thompson has twice been denied the opportunity due to injuries sustained by both he and his opponent.
“In hindsight, looking back, it kind of got to the point of wondering when this was going to happen,” Thompson told MMAWeekly.com. “I’m not getting any younger. Time isn’t slowing down.
“At that point, I was thinking it was do or die. I was getting in my head quite a lot. I came to Team Takedown in Texas and got beat up a lot, and I’ve come out the other side and I’m feeling great and am looking forward to the fight.”
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Thompson became a father a year ago, and he says the change in his life has had nothing but a positive impact that we’ll see from him moving forward.
“I love MMA and love the competitiveness of it, and hat will never change or ever has, but it’s affected the way I act in as much as going off the rails,” he said. “In the past things happened with MMA and I’ve kind of taken that badly and gone down the wrong path and wasted a lot of time and made it a massive uphill battle for now.
“And now having my boy, it has changed me. I don’t want him to make the same mistakes I have. I know he’s going to look up to me and will be looking for me to make positive goals, and I don’t want to be that kind of person (I had been).”
Thought his outlook has changed, when Thompson (20-14) finally faces Lashley (13-2) on Nov. 6 in St. Louis, the game plan will be the same as it was the other times they were supposed to fight.
“Bobby has improved as a fighter, but I don’t really think he’s tested himself,” said Thompson. “Bobby is good at what he does. He’s a good wrestler and is explosive and his punches are surprisingly quick for his size.
“What he doesn’t do well is that when you take him deep, I don’t think he’s too conditioned. He’s too big for his frame and cardio is always going to be an issue, so I’m going to try to expose those things.”
Twelve years into his MMA career, Thompson still sets goals for himself, and specifically he wants one last shot at gold before he retires.
“It’s always good to set goals to know which way you’re going,” he said. “It will be good to beat Bobby so I can move on to thinking about someone else.
“Not much has been said about the Bellator heavyweight championship. (Vitaly Minakov) hasn’t defended it in a long time. I’ve beaten Bobby and I’ve beaten Kimbo (Slice), so maybe a title shot then. I don’t look too far into the future, but I do have goals I want to accomplish.”