Josh Thomson Believes He “Won With One Hand”, But Says Retirement Possible After Loss to Benson Henderson
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although Josh Thomson believes he defeated one of the planet’s best pound-for-pound fighters last night at UFC on FOX 10, and did so with a broken hand, the 35 year-old vet says it may be time to hang up the gloves.
Speaking at the card’s post-fight presser, Thomson was asked about what it will take to recover from the split decision loss he incurred versus Benson Henderson, and the renowned fighter let it be known “this might be it.” While the statement is likely shocking to some, considering Thomson’s impressive performance, the vet claims retirement talk isn’t anything new.
“It was kind of coming up before the title fight was offered, just a little bit, and in between; I didn’t really know the direction the UFC wanted to take me,” said Thomson, while referring to the fact he was scheduled to fight Anthony Pettis last month, until the lightweight champ was forced to drop out due to knee surgery. “It’s a frustrating one when you’re offered a title shot and then it’s taken away. I understand why, he’s injured, that’s not a problem, it’s just you’re on cloud nine and then it doesn’t happen. It kind of does hurt.”
“I love the sport, I don’t want to stop, and I still want to be around it, but everyone needs to know that their time has come. Maybe it’s not mine right now, but I also don’t want to be that person that fights until their dusk, and ends up not knowing when it’s time to quit.”
“A 15, 16 week camp does that to you. I’m no spring chicken so you start thinking about it,” added Thomson, who made his pro debut back in 2001. “Two padded practices a day, six days a week for 16 weeks, that’s a NFL season. I get hit more than the guys in the NFL and they get paid way more.”
An emotional Thomson, who was tapped for a title shot after stopping Nate Diaz last April, made it clear that no decision regarding his future has been made.
“I’m going to go home, talk with my family, talk with my coaches, and I’m probably going to sit down with Dana (White), Joe (Silva) and Sean (Shelby) and those guys, and see what direction we want to go. That’s really what it comes down to. It’s just putting the whole team together to see what the plans are for me with the UFC, and we’ll make our decision from there.”
There’s no question Saturday’s bout was an extremely competitive one. Thomson had Henderson in trouble several times on the mat, but the former champ managed to work his way out each time and pursued the contender throughout much of the bout. Since Thomson broke his hand early in the fight, however, one can understand why the loss is that much harder to take.
“The Gilbert fight, that to me was a close fight, but I could see how it went either way, this fight, I felt like I won. I won with one hand; I beat the former UFC champion,” Thomson said when asked for his thoughts on the decision. “It was the guy for two years, and I beat him with one hand. That’s what I can’t stomach. I’m a better fighter. That’s what pisses me off.”
“It was really bugging me because even when he locked his hands around my wrist, my corner was yelling at me ‘fight the hands’, but I can’t grab anything,” Thomson noted, when asked how the injury impacted his performance. “Every time I went to fight push down on his hands and push his hands off and separate them, my thumb would just bend all the way back.”
Regardless of whether the American Kickboxing Academy fighter competes again, no one can take away from Thomson what he’s accomplished throughout his decade plus career.
“Of course, I mean, I was ranked #1, #2 in the world in 2003, 2004, and I feel like I’m still possibly in the top five right now….I have no regrets in my career. This has been great; this wild ride’s been great. I’ve been all around the world, fought in the biggest organizations in the world, I have no regrets. This is awesome.”