In his first fight since re-signing with the company, Josh Thomson (20-5-1) defeated Nate Diaz (16-9) via knockout in the second round at UFC on Fox 7.
As is the case with any fight involving Nate Diaz, the opening frame featured plenty of exchanges.
In Round 2, Diaz's brawling style would come back to bite him. Thomson threw a head kick that landed flush and finished the job off with strikes on the ground as the ref was forced to call an end to the fight.
At 34 years old, Thomson is now a veteran in the MMA game.
Many remember his short stint with the UFC in 2003-04, but it was the success he found with the now-defunct Strikeforce (former lightweight champion) that makes him one of the company’s biggest acquisitions to date.
Not only did Thomson beat Diaz and prove his worth against one of the toughest men in the UFC, he gets the redemption he was seeking for his previous loss to then-Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez.
This win proves the UFC made the right move bringing Thomson into the company.
The defeat for Diaz is devastating, marking his second straight defeat after winning three in a row to earn a title shot. While it looked like Diaz had his career on the right track, a loss to Benson Henderson in December and now Thomson is a bad sign.
UFC officials would be foolish to let a fighter as exciting as Diaz walk and they know that, but a move in weight class may be needed to shake up his current losing streak.
As for what’s next for Thomson after this huge win, the hunt for the UFC Lightweight Championship officially begins.
This victory was great for Thomson, but he needs another win before he can be considered for a title shot. Look for a lightweight gatekeeper like Gray Maynard to be a name tossed around as the next possible opponent.
No matter who Thomson fights next, the victory at UFC on Fox 7 proves he’s a legitimate contender in the lightweight division once again.