Fans tuning in to the Bellator 40 main event this past weekend were witness to the continued growth of one of MMA’s rising young stars in the form of Ben Askren. However, as it turns out, viewers also caught was will likely be the final in-ring appearance of seasoned veteran Nick Thompson’s 53-fight career.
The 29-year old Thompson went on popular internet forum the Underground Sunday morning and announced he will be hanging up his trunks for a three-piece suit in order to do battle in a courtroom rather than a cage from here on out.
“I love this sport and all that it has given to me and it is with a mix of joy and sadness that I realize that I am no longer willing to pay the price necessary to compete at the level I expect from myself – the level of guys like Ben, (Brent) Weedman and (Jay) Heiron,” Thompson began. “I have reached a point where it is more important to me to spend time at home with my daughter and wife, who have been great about me competing, and focus on developing my law career at O’Flaherty Heim Egan & Birnbaum LTD, which has also been great about me competing. I am grateful for the many wonderful people who supported me and those I met in mixed martial arts, fans and fighters, and am hopeful that I can give something back to the sport I love by coaching and/or representing the next crop of mixed martial arts superstars.”
As far as the outcome of his swan song, though Thompson clearly was not pleased with the loss he explained he was still honored to have fought someone with the Bellator welterweight champ’s ability in his farewell performance.
“I have fought many great fighters, even beating a few along the way. In all those fights, I have never felt as frustrated as I felt (Saturday night). Askren is truly a great wrestler/grappler and I look forward to seeing him develop in the sport. I have been a fan of Ben’s since I knew him in high school and am appreciative that Bellator provided me an opportunity for my last fight to be against a fighter for whom I have such tremendous respect.”
“The Goat” will walk away from the sport with a 38-14-1 record including thirty-two finishing performances with twenty-two submissions and ten TKOs. Highlights of his eight-year run in MMA include victories over Josh Neer, Paul Daley, and Eddie Alvarez.
Five Ounces of Pain would like to thank Thompson for the hours of entertainment and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors (unless somehow standing opposite from him in court)!