Former Strikeforce lightweight champion, Josh “The Punk” Thomson, made a strong statement against Nate Diaz at UFC on Fox 8, becoming the first fighter to finish the scrappy Stockton native with strikes.
With a win against a recent number one contender in his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Thomson immediately established himself as one of the top 155-pounders in the promotion, and he looks forward to moving even closer to the lightweight title.
If Thomson was in charge of the UFC’s matchmaking, his next fight would be against current lightweight champion Benson Henderson.
“My days of trying to plead for notoriety are over,” Josh explained. “I don’t care. I just want to fight Benson. If I get the title shot, I can end my career and be done. I want to end my career with my title shot, and just get ready for whatever happens.”
Given the fact fellow Strikeforce import Gilbert Melendez also made a strong statement at UFC on Fox 8 and T.J. Grant’s upset victory against Gray Maynard on May 25, which earned Grant the next shot at the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight title, it’s safe to say Thomson will need at least one more win inside the Octagon before he becomes part of the title conversation.
Josh thinks a fight against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone might get him there.
“I think [Cerrone is] the only option that they will probably give me if he wins tonight,” Thomson said prior to UFC 160. “If he doesn’t win, then, I’ve already beat K.J. [Noons]. If it gets me to the shot at the title, whoever they want me to fight.”
A fight against Cerrone looks like a good matchup for Thomson on paper, considering how dominant the man he just annihilated — Nate Diaz — was against Cowboy at UFC 141. Nate actually made UFC history for three-round bouts when the two squared up, landing 82 percent of his strikes against Cerrone.
However, it’s worth noting that Cerrone didn’t look like his normal self when he faced Nate, so it wouldn’t be wise to dismiss his chances against Thomson.