Josh Thomson had a brief three-fight run in the UFC between 2003-04, going 2-1 in that time. After parting ways with the promotion, he spent most of his time with Strikeforce, enjoying a brief run as that promotion’s lightweight champion. Overall his record was 19-5-0-1 prior to rejoining the UFC for the Fox 7 card where he met Nate Diaz.
Diaz entered the fight on a loss, dropping a unanimous decision to UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson at UFC on Fox 5. Prior to that bout, Diaz had been on a great run, going 3-0 in the lightweight division and earning a Fight Night bonus in each of those victories.
The stakes were high in this one: Diaz needed a win to keep his name in the mix, and Thomson needed to make a strong impression in his return to the Octagon. Thomson did just that.
Thomson’s strategy early on seemed to be to attack the lead leg of his opponent, while Diaz looked to walk Thomson down so that he could utilize his boxing skills. Diaz had moments where he got in close to Thomson, but never long enough to do any damage. In some ways Thomson’s game plan was very similar to the one that Carlos Condit used to earn a victory over Nate’s older brother, Nick: keep moving and never let Diaz touch him up.
Thomson’s low kicks were utilized in the first round for a reason, and that reason was to get Diaz worried about Thomson going low. Once that seed was planted, Thomson switched things up and went high, rocking Diaz with a shin to the head and then moving in to end the fight with a ground-and-pound assault.
The stoppage didn’t seem to come soon enough for the Diaz corner, as the towel came flying into the cage moments before the referee waved the fight off.
The TKO was the first time Diaz had been stopped by strikes in his career.