In the dawning hours of arguably the biggest Strikeforce card this year, rumors have flown around regarding possible injuries to one of the athletes fighting in the lightweight title match. About a week ago, rumblings that Josh Thomson had suffered a serious knee injury started making their way across Twitter feeds, bringing to mind the question, 'Will The Punk be fighting on Saturday?' In a quick TapouT Radio interview, Josh discussed his feelings on how the MMA media handles rumors, and gave some insight to these final days leading into his third outing with lightweight champion, Gilbert Melendez.
Frustration With MMA Media
There's no injury, everything is good. I tweaked my wrist and I tweaked some of my other body, but nothing bad. There's always little injuries going into a fight, but nothing that is going to take me out of it.
The thing that upsets me the most, is when the media, or whoever they are, come online, and let's just say a guy did have an injury, but the media guy guessed wrong. He's like 'Oh yeah, he hurt his wrist'. and let's just say his wrist was kind of bugging him, but he guessed wrong, and it wasn't anything too bad. Now that puts out a little bit of a target, and could end up basically affecting the guy's fight. At least verify with the camp, or just say, 'Hey, is there an injury?'
Maybe the media will learn that if you do things like that for the fighters, you'll end up getting more interviews and coverage later on down the road. Maybe you'll get the inside scoop on something later on versus just throwing something out there.
It kind of rubbed me the wrong way. It's just typical of the low level of MMA media stuff, where they automatically just jump the gun because they want to release this story, without ever verifying anything. It's just kind of gotten old, and after years and years of dealing with it, it kind of boiled over for me.
You know, I'm always injured, so when am I not hurt is something that's always just bugging me [laughs]. Seriously though, if something had happened to my knee, and somebody just went and threw that out there, now I've got my opponent knowing something is hurt. That kind of rubs people the wrong way, I think.
The big majority of MMA media are not journalists. They're just fans that picked up a pen and started writing. That's the problem with it. A lot of these guys haven't gone to journalism school, and a lot of them haven't developed any real relationships with the fighters. They take the most negative things in the article, I mean, the guy could have said a thousand nice things about his opponent, but they pick the one negative comment to post. Maybe that sells, but later on, I'll be thinking, 'No matter what I say, this guy is just going to write whatever the hell he wants.'
The thing that was written about me said, 'Oh he has a torn PCL', but if you have anything torn, you wouldn't even be contemplating the fight. Even if there was an injury, at least give the fighter a chance to pull out of the fight, or at least confirm that there is an injury.
I understand that it's up to the media people to break the news first, but the best part about it all, was how some of the media guys, especially this idiot that was on there. He gets on there (Twitter), and after I've denied it, says, 'I know I'm right. I've confirmed with three sources. I'm right and you're wrong. You're going to get your ass kicked on Saturday, anyway.' And I'm thinking, 'This is a guy that just wants to drop some information, whether it's true or not.' That's just so typical, I think, of the MMA media.
These people are quick to say, 'Oh you're washed up. You're a has-been', but do they know I was fighting in the UFC back in 2000, when there was only five shows a year, and you knew you were the top fighter in the world. What does that tell you? Don't be disrespectful just because you're stuck behind a keyboard. You've got to calm down dude. Just slow down with your negative crap.
It drives me insane to see guys like this just trying to slam fighters. It doesn't matter even if you're a kid on the undercard. At least that kid is trying to fulfill his dream. He's trying to do something that he really loves doing. You can't say that about 99% of the United States. Maybe the journalists are trying to fulfill their dreams, as well, but they just need to go about it a little bit differently.
Thoughts On Upcoming Fight With Gilbert Melendez
Really, this just comes down to me implementing my gameplan. In the second fight, I totally got away from the gameplan. I went in there pretty cocky and arrogant. After I felt like I won the first round, I felt like I could just go in there and do it again.
It was going OK in the second round, but then I got clipped and dropped. From there, I felt like I was fighting from behind. When you have a fighter like Gil, with that kind of confidence, he stuck with his gameplan and was able to win.
In this fight, I've got to come in with that same type confidence and arrogance, but I've just got to be smart about it. I think it has to be all about me following the gameplan, sticking with it, and making the needed adjustments here and there, from round to round.
A five round fight is a long time. The two of us have fought a lot. Ten rounds is no joke, and not to mention all the rounds that we trained with each other before we fought. We know each other pretty well. I know he's got a big right hand, and there's a lot of talk that he's going to try and open up and take some risks.
With all the talk about Gilbert being number one, and I do believe he is the number one guy in the world right now, especially with what's going on in the UFC. They don't really have a settled, number one guy there. They haven't really settled their championship there. That really leaves Gil to slide into that spot and be the number one guy. With that being said, he's really got to produce, with all that talk about beating all the best or fighting all the best. Now he needs to prove it.
If he has a lackluster five rounds with me, it doesn't really show well for him, because I'm not ranked in the Top 10. When you look at the rankings, I really feel bad for the guy, because he knows it's going to be a tough fight. I think this is going to be different. He dominated Aoki. He dominated Masvidal. I'm the last guy he hasn't dominated. It's not going to be an easy fight for him.
Follow Josh via his Twitter, @TheRealPunk