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Josh Thomson considers himself to be top contender after knockout of Nate Diaz

Nate-Diaz - MMAWEEKLYUFC lightweight Josh Thomson may not own the division’s longest winning streak or most impressive resume, but he does have a ton of talent, loads of heart, and an impressive finish of Nate Diaz to his credit. As such, “The Punk” feels he’s done enough in his career to merit a match-up with champion Benson Henderson considering the title-holder was unable to put Diaz away when the two duked it out last December.

Thomson made his plea for a crack at Henderson’s belt last night after knocking Diaz out, telling the FX broadcast team the opportunity would cap off his run in the ring and allow him to exit MMA with his head held high no matter the outcome.

“I hope so,” replied Thomson when asked if he felt beating Diaz so decisively vaulted him up to the top spot. “I did something the champ here couldn’t do. I finished [Diaz], and I finished him in three. So, I feel like I am, but it’s not my call. I’m just asking for that one chance to fight for the UFC title and my career will be completed.”

The 34-year old also holds a past win over recent contender Gilbert Melendez and nearly picked up a second victory over “El Nino” in 2012, though ultimately the judges awarded a controversial decision to Melendez instead. He holds an overall record of 20-5 including fourteen stoppages and success against the likes of Gesias Cavalcante, K.J. Noons, and Pat Healy.

PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY

3 COMMENTS
  • Richard Stabone says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Thomson get the next shot. In their final SF encounter, Thomson could have easily come away with the decision victory that instead went Gil’s way. And then he followed that up with last night’s destruction of Nate Diaz.

    The other reason is there’s no #1 contender on the immediate horizon. It doesn’t seem like Eddie Alvarez will be making it over to the UFC, and even if he does who knows when that might be. Jose Aldo could be the next challenger, but that’s a tricky proposition. He’ll have to first beat a very dangerous & talented Anthony Pettis, and that fight is still over 3 months away. So even if everything falls into place for Aldo he wouldn’t figure to be ready for a title shot until the end of 2013 or early 2014.

    So unless and the LW belt are going to get an extended break in action, he’ll have to fight someone else first. Last night’s fight was very close and could have gone to Gil (but as I touched on above, Gil was fortunate to have gotten the same treatment against Thomson which allowed him to even be in the position to fight for the title last night). So do they go with the all-too-familiar immediate rematch for the LW belt? Or was The Punk’s work last night loud enough to earn him the next shot?

    I’ll pretty much always lean towards a fresh challenger, so I’d prefer the latter.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Just saw that Dana mentioned last night the next challenger will be the winner of next month’s clash between Maynard and TJ Grant.

    Of course, when Dana says stuff like this it’s always tough to know for sure if he’s just adding more intrigue/hype to a fight or if he in fact is guaranteeing the next title shot to the winner. But if they still with this plan I guess it makes sense.

    So then what’s next for Josh & Gil? For Josh, how about Cerrone (if he beats Noons next month) and for Gil he could face the winner of Healy-Miller. Whether the reported Melendez injuries were legit or not, Healy got screwed when Gil couldn’t/wouldn’t face him so I’d still like to see that matchup happen.

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  • MCM says:

    Agreed with both those next fights Richard.

    I’ve been calling for the Cerrone/Thompson fight since Zuffa bought SF.
    I think Gilbert should face the loser of Healy/Miller. Both guys are still top of the heap and I’d rather see a loser/loser vs winner/loser fight.

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