Opinion: “The Punk” Shows He’s Got Plenty Left In Him
By Michael Hatamoto
Josh ‘The Punk’ Thomson successfully returned to the UFC cage with an impressive TKO win against Nate Diaz during UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Melendez.
There is something magical about seeing an underdog re-enter the UFC – in front of an entirely new audience, of course – and step up to finish the fight in a dramatic fashion. The solid finish helped Thomson bank an extra $50,000, picking up a Knockout of the Night bonus.
Switching up his stance and using footwork to back pedal and create angles, Diaz clearly had trouble trying to force Thomson into a brawl. Not surprisingly, Thomson came out and threw leg kicks to keep Diaz off balance, and landed a head kick that caught Diaz.
In the second round, Diaz was able to get the fight to the ground and land a few shots, but was unable to keep Thomson on the ground. After both were standing up and getting ready to exchange again, Thomson landed another major head kick that clearly stunned the Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu fighter, then Thomson swarmed to finish the fight.
It’s a shame that Thomson was able to finish the fight when he did, as it did look like he was slowing down before the fight-ending kick and follow up punches.
The American Kickboxing Academy-trained lightweight is 34 years old and has battled a string of injuries in recent years, but he can still put together a winning streak in the UFC.
Just like many other MMA fans and bloggers, I expected Diaz to be able to grind out a decision win against Thomson.
Despite wins against Pat Healy, Gesias Cavalcante and K.J. Noons in the Strikeforce cage – along with losses to Gilbert Melendez (twice) and Tatsuya Kawajiri – it was uncertain how the aging veteran would perform in the octagon.
I tend to not like multiple fights between the same competitors, but following Gilbert Melendez’s tough loss to Benson Henderson, a fourth fight could be sold to casual UFC fans. I wouldn’t mind seeing him fight Donald Cerrone if Cerrone is able to get by Noons, as that could yield another fun fight to watch.