Report: UFC’s Dana White Says Promotion “Wasn’t Interested” in Josh Thomson
By FCF Staff
Several high profile, UFC veterans have signed with Bellator in recent months, but in the case of Josh Thomson, how and why he exited the promotion is capturing headlines.
On Tuesday, Bellator announced that it had signed the former Strikeforce champ to a multi-fight deal, following a report from MMA Fighting.com, which said the UFC declined to make an offer to Thomson. The fighter became a free agent recently, following a unanimous decision loss to Tony Ferguson in July.
In Bellator’s official announcement, Thomson took issue with the aforementioned report, and relayed that the UFC had been “trying to re-sign me for my last two fights”. Thomson added that he elected to fight out his contract, and that the “UFC was unable to match” the offer Bellator made, “given their relationships with FOX and Reebok.”
Now MMA Fighting.com has run a follow up report, which includes a recent email from Thomson’s manager Bob Cook to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva. The email reportedly included Bellator’s offer to Thomson, and Cook acknowledges that Silva had informed him sending it “wasn’t necessary.”
UFC President Dana White is also quoted saying in the report:
“We told them we weren’t interested,” White said. “We released Josh. We didn’t even want to match. He was free to deal with whoever he wanted to after his last fight and they knew we weren’t going to match.”
Heading into the bout with Ferguson, Thomson was coming off consecutive, split decision losses to Bobby Green and Benson Henderson. Sources in the updated report confirmed that the UFC did have preliminary talks with Thomson’s reps about a new deal, prior to his latest defeat.
The 36 year-old fighter’s Bellator debut has yet to be confirmed.