It looks like the UFC has no shortage of top lightweights gunning for the strap. After dropping a close decision to Benson Henderson back in January at UFC on Fox 10, "The Punk" announced that he may be stepping away from the sport. Fortunately for fight fans, Josh Thomson's plans appear to have reflected the heat of the moment more closely than they did his long term goals. Thomson recently spoke with Lynn R. Mitchell of BJPenn.com about his hopes of making a return to the UFC this summer.
Yeah, I'm hoping, you know, there's... I had a long camp, so that was a lot of my distraction. Obviously, losing a close fight like that, and losing my title shot, really upset me. So, there was a lot going through my mind. I'm hoping to fight July 26th in San Jose.
He doesn't appear to have any particular opponent in mind, stating merely that he'd like "whoever gets me closer to the title, that's it." He's pretty definitively one of the top fight fighters in the lightweight division, so any fights he gets right now should push him toward that goal.
When asked, Thomson also had some advice for young up and coming fighters:
You gotta treat it like it's your job, like it's a craft. You always gotta get better at it. And I think that's why my longevity in this sport's been so good. My grappling was never really all that good, I focused on my grappling a lot, a lot. A lot on my wrestling, now I'm focused a lot on my wrestling. Doing a lot of stuff. Just, I'm always trying to get better and evolve with the sport. And that's one thing you've always gotta do. Even just from being your flexibility, all the way to the techniques of striking and grappling.
There's no doubting that Thomson is one of the longest serving vets still fighting at the highest levels of MMA right now. In fact, it's nothing short of remarkable that a man who started his career way back in 2001 remains in spitting distance of the belt. Hopefully the UFC can get him lined up with a good fight so he can ply his trade again this summer.