Josh Thomson Says He’s On To New K.J. Noons Tactics
By Stephen Florival
At 33 years of age, Josh Thomson (18-4) hears the whispers revolving around his career. While on the shelf for the past 14 months, critics suggested he spent more time recovering from injuries then training for his next opponent.
Others took Thomson to task on his motivation and ponder whether he can quiet the naysayers in the final chapters of his career. Thompson admitted to not feeling the same physically before taking a break from the cage. More daunting then any opponent, for the former ruler of the Strikeforce Lightweight class, was the battle to get to 100% health.
“In my (Pat) Healy fight, in my JZ (Cavalcante) fight, and obviously with the (Tatsuya) Kawajiri fight, I just felt flat,” Thomson said. “Sure, I had the conditioning, the muscle endurance, all that stuff to go, but I didn’t feel strong. I didn’t feel at my top game like I did when I was on my eight-fight win streak. Obviously I’ve spent half my career on the shelf because of injuries, so we really cut back on the workload. ”
A fresh training regimen and new approach have given rise to a new, reinvigorated feeling. According to Thomson, the energy he possessed in his glory days have returned.
“We cut out more of the intense stuff, the plyometrics and double workouts during the day,” he explained. “I was getting hurt, injured a lot and my body was breaking down. Gray Maynard and Justin Wilcox and some great kickboxers have helped me out. I’ve had really good athletes helping me so I’m excited for this fight.”
On March 3rd, Thomson will re-emerge on the scene against KJ Noons (11-4). While many things about Noons’ style may be unpredictable, certain elements of his attack remain consistent.
“KJ likes to be an action fighter and push the pace, so I felt I had to get in great shape and stay healthy. I’ve been training 12 weeks now and I’m just focusing on making sure I’m in really good shape.”
In his last bout, Noons regained his equilibrium with a bounce back unanimous decision. The manner in which Noons attained victory surprised many including his opponent Billy Evangelista.
Some of the new tactics Noons deployed included keeping Evangelista opponent off balance with a series of leg kick combinations and early takedown attempts. After watching tape from the fight, Thomson said he picked up on some of these new tactics.
“We did something different for this camp, and I’m nervous for a guy like K.J. but he’s been in there with top guys and we felt it had to be done,” said Thomson. We really cut back on the conditioning and the workload that I was doing for training in that camp. We’re hoping it pays off. I look better and felt better in the gym than I have in years but I don’t want to be a gym hero, I want to perform on fight night and deliver a good performance.”