On January 25th at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, UFC lightweight Josh Thomson puts a title shot on the line against former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. Thomson was expected to face Anthony Pettis for the title but injury forced the champ out of their scheduled bout leaving the door open for Henderson to stroll through with a shot at redemption.
To get to this point, Thomson had to first make his return to the Octagon. He hadn’t fought for the UFC since 2004. After parting wight he company, he joined Strikeforce and carved a path to the that promotion’s lightweight title, which he won in 2008. Unfortunately, he lost his Strikeforce title to Gilbert Melendez and was unsuccessful in 2012 when he tried to regain it for the last time although the third fight’s decision was a controversial one.
When Zuffa purchased Strikeforce and dissolved it’s fighters in to their ranks, Thomson came over and wasn’t given any free passes. His first fight was opposite Nate Diaz. The notoriously tough Stockton native was fresh off a loss to the lightweight champion of the time, Benson Henderson and wanted to regain the momentum he had built in the previous two years. Thomson wasn’t about to let that happen however.
Thomson used his agility, footwork, and striking prowess to give himself the upper hand. In the second round, Thomson let loose. He hit Diaz with a barrage of shots including a flush head kick that staggered Diaz badly and made his legs in to wet noodles. Thomson pounced on Diaz and made his return to the Octagon a success story.
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