May 19, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Gilbert Melendez (left) fights Josh Thomson (right) during the lightweight bout of the Strikeforce World Grand Prix at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
Saturday night saw the end of the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP. The card was an exciting affair with several great fights. One of those fights, the lightweight title bout between Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendez has become a point of contention for many. In a split decision, Gilbert took the win, but several saw it in favor of Josh. In a recent TapouT Radio interview, Thomson gave his thoughts on the fight and it's aftermath.
*Note: Interviewer is either my co-host, Evan Shoman of TapouT Radio, or myself. When I don't conduct these interviews by myself, I just put "Interviewer" to eliminate having to bounce back and forth between three different names.
Interviewer: How has everything been since the fight? Any injuries?
Josh Thomson: Everything has been good. I'm on my way to the doctor to see if my hand is broken. We're going to go from there and hopefully get ready to fight again soon.
Interviewer: What are your thoughts on the fight?
Josh Thomson: I was just looking on Yahoo, and there's a story there about our "epic trilogy" not being settled, and I think that just says it all. The question shouldn't be asked of me, but should be asked of him. How can you consider yourself one of the best and leave something so controversial like this.
The first thing people ask him is are we going to see a fourth fight. I know I don't want to leave it like this, but maybe it's easier said than done. The judges went his way that night. All three fights were great. I mean, we watch thousands of fights, and only a handful of them are great. We have the opportunity here to put on a fourth one, where it will probably end living up to the hype of the first three.
There's some unsettled business, and we should just get it all out in the open. Let's add a round. Let's do six rounds. We could do it like the ultimate fighter, and go to an extra round if it's necessary. If you have a split decision coming out of the fifth round, that extra round let's it all get figured out. Something along those lines would be great.
Interviewer: Do you take Gilbert's comments in the post-fight interview about not taking his training camp very seriously as a personal slight?
Josh Thomson: A little bit, yeah. You have to be a fool to believe that, given the fact that our first two fights were obviously the toughest he's had in his whole career. I beat him in that first fight. The second fight, was a hard fought fight, but he won. Now we have this fight that's so controversial. You'd be an idiot to believe that it was hard for him to train for me.
There were a lot of things that he didn't anticipate from me that went my way. I was more calm and collected in this fight. I didn't try to chase after him. I let him come to me, and obviously, it worked against me, but I should have probably thrown more. I thought I had done enough to win, though.
When I looked at the stats, it said he hit me with forty something power strikes, but I sure don't feel like I got hit with forty power strikes. Nothing wobbled me. Nothing really rocked me. If anything got me, it was the elbows to the back of the head. I've got cuts all on the back of my head from those.
Interviewer: Cesar Gracie tweeted that Gilbert went into this fight coming off a back injury. Do you feel that was a way to explain away his performance or your own?
Josh Thomson: The only problem I have with that is he was saying it was hard for him to get motivated to fight me, and now Cesar is coming out with, 'Oh, he had a back problem', but when the rumors were flying around about me being injured, it was, 'Oh, he probably just wants a reason for when he loses.' I haven't said one thing about my knee. Nobody knows anything about it. I'm not the one making excuses right now. It's them. They're trying to justify the decision.
It is what it is. I can't change it. I can only move on to the next fight. If he ends up fighting Pat Healy, Pat has the potential and a very great chance of beating Gilbert. Healy is one of the toughest guys I've ever fought. People like to discredit him for this or that, but he's a great fighter.
Interviewer: What do you think the judges saw in Gilbert's game that won him the fight?
Josh Thomson: I don't know. I think the very last straw that broke the camel's back is the judge that gave him the first round. I think they scored it for him because it was too close, and he's the champ, so they gave it to him. The champ comes in with that aura. He's the last one to get introduced, and his dad is running around the cage with the belt. Judges look at that. They remember that. So, when the first round is close, they're like, "We'll just give it the champ.' I think that's why he won. It wasn't anything he did in the cage, that's for sure.
Interviewer: When the fight was over, before the decision was announced, did you think you had won the fight, without a shadow of a doubt?
Josh Thomson: Without a shadow of a doubt, I thought I won.
Interviewer: You seemed to have trouble getting a single or a double leg takedown, but the leg trip worked perfectly a few times. What was going on there?
Josh Thomson: Honestly, it's hard to shoot on our canvas. If you noticed, every time I landed a push kick, I had to take a step back and wipe my foot. There were a few times that I slipped. The canvas that Strikeforce uses is like a vinyl or nylon one, and with any sweat, you're slipping and sliding. It's horrible, but it's one of those things you just have to take in stride and make the necessary adjustments as the fight goes on.
Interviewer: Do you want the next crack at him or is it already established that Pat Healy is next?
Josh Thomson: I don't really know what's going on. It's up to the promotion. If they want me to fight somebody else, than I fight somebody else. I'm ready to fight whoever. I'm going to get my hand checked out and then go from there. It's a little sore and swollen, so I just want to get it checked out, and get it healthy. I'd like to fight sometime in August or September. I'd like to try to get two more fights in this year if I can.
Follow Josh via his Twitter, @THEREALPUNK