Josh Thomson is always the realist.
The former Strikeforce welterweight champion is getting ready for a big fight against Benson Henderson, but he can’t stop singing Henderson’s praises.
“He’s very well-rounded,” Thomson told MMA Fight Corner. “If you look at the lightweight division, a lot of guys are either good at stand-up or grappling, or one or the other. But none of them are really as well-rounded as he is. And that would explain why he was the champion for so long. He puts it together real well and he’s also a threat because he’s left handed. I think it’s just going to be a little matter of inches here or there. I’m going to have to beat him in certain areas. I feel I’m a better grappler and he’s probably a little bit better of a wrestler. I feel my standup is better than his and he probably hits harder. We’re really just cutting straws, but it’s going to be a good fight.”
Thomson will face Henderson at UFC on FOX 10 in Chicago’s United Center, in a 5-round lightweight main event.
Thomson (20-5, 1 NC) stunned everybody when he knocked out Nate Diaz last year. The victory landed Thomson a title shot against Anthony Pettis. Pettis, however, got injured in training and pulled out of the fight.
In the meantime, Thomson decided to take the fight against Henderson, the former lightweight champion.
The winner will likely fight Pettis later this year.
Thomson rose to fame in Strikeforce, after three great fights against former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez. Melendez won two of the three fights, although the second Melendez victory was highly disputed.
Thomson told MMA Fight Corner that he’s thrilled he was considered for a title shot and that he still plans to fight Pettis later in the year.
“I know that I was given the opportunity to fight for the title. I’m obviously looking forward to winning this fight, so then there is no doubt whether I’m getting the next title shot or not. But there’s so much in front of me between now and then, I need to focus on him. I need to focus on Benson. I need to focus on just getting past this fight.”