Bellator Signs Josh Thomson to Multi-Fight Deal, Refutes Report That UFC Didn’t Make Offer
By FCF Staff
Josh Thomson is working for Scott Coker once again, as Bellator has announced that it has signed the former Strikeforce champ and UFC vet to a multi-fight contract.
Thomson (20-8) entered the free agent market recently, following his unanimous decision loss to Tony Ferguson in July, which was his third consecutive loss. A recent report from MMA Fighting.com relayed that according to sources, the UFC declined to offer the 36 year-old a new deal. But, in a press release from Bellator, Thomson was quoted saying:
“I’m over here reading this UFC reporter saying that they’ve declined to re-sign me when the truth of the matter is that they’ve been trying to re-sign me for my last two fights. I declined and instead chose to fight out my contract and test the free agency market with Bellator. At that point, Bellator made me an offer that the UFC was unable to match given their relationships with FOX and Reebok. It’s a done deal, I’m back working with Coker, and I couldn’t be more excited to get back to an organization that is trending upwards with fighter-friendly contracts. Any intelligent fighter is going to go where the money is, and for me the money was at Bellator.”
Coker, who ran Strikeforce before it was dissolved by ZUFFA, had this to say about the deal:
“I had the pleasure of working with Josh in Strikeforce and I look forward to continuing this relationship in Bellator MMA. Josh is a world-class mixed martial artist and we are very happy to be adding him to our roster of some of the best lightweights in the world,” said Coker. “Bellator remains fully committed to building its roster by signing top free agents like Thomson, as well as grooming up-and-coming blue-chip stars. We have some amazing matchups in mind for “The Punk” that we hope to be announcing in the weeks to come.”
Thomson returned to the UFC in April, 2013, and stopped Nate Diaz. Since then, however, he’s incurred split decision losses to Benson Henderson and Bobby Green, as well as the UD loss to Ferguson.
The California fighter joins a lightweight division that includes the likes of Michael Chandler, Saad Awad, Melvin Guillard, Brandon Girtz, Dave Jansen, David Rickels, Marcin Held and champion Will Brooks, among others.