Count Josh Thomson as the latest UFC defector. It was announced last week that at the former Strikeforce fighter had reunited with Scott Coker under the Bellator MMA banner.
During his time in Strikeforce Thomson was widely considered one of the top lightweights in the world. From 2006 to 2012 he fought for the organization 12 times. His battles with Gilbert Melendez helped not only himself but Melendez and the organization on the casual fan’s radar.
When Strikeforce was bought out and then eventually folded by the UFC, Thomson was brought in to bolster the already deep lightweight division. Thomson would not have the same success in the UFC as he did while in Strikeforce. He would only compile a 1-3 record with the organization. After winning his debut in spectacular fashion with a head kick knockout over Nate Diaz, Thomson would go on to lose his next three bouts. Though all three losses came via decision, Thomson never really seemed to be comfortable in the UFC.
Thomson’s recent losing streak did not detour Coker from jumping to sign him to Bellator, “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.”
“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,” Coker added.
MMA Fighting had reported that the UFC had declined to resign Thomson and that he would take his talents to Bellator. Thomson took exception to the report claiming it to be false, “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,” Thomson stated. “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.”