Josh Thomson

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Josh Thomson
Born (1978-09-21) September 21, 1978 (age 39)
San Jose, California, United States
Other names The Punk
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1]
Weight 155 lb (70 kg; 11.1 st)[2]
Division Lightweight
Reach 71.0 in (180 cm)[1]
Style Kickboxing, Wrestling, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Fighting out of San Jose, California, United States
Team American Kickboxing Academy
Rank      Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[3] under Dave Camarillo[4]
Wrestling NCAA Division III[citation needed] Wrestling[5]
Years active 2001–present
Kickboxing record
Total 3
Wins 3
Mixed martial arts record
Total 32
Wins 22
By knockout 6
By submission 10
By decision 6
Losses 9
By knockout 2
By decision 7
No contests 1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Joshua Joseph Thomson (born September 21, 1978) is an American mixed martial artist who currently competes in Bellator MMA's lightweight division. A professional competitor since 2001, Thomson has also competed in PRIDE, Strikeforce, UFC, the World Fighting Alliance, and appeared at Dynamite!! 2010. Thomson is a former Strikeforce World Lightweight Champion and a former Strikeforce U.S. Lightweight Champion.


Thomson was born and raised in San Jose, California, growing up in the east side of the city. Being half-English and half-Mexican, Thomson faced discrimination and got into fights often. In middle school, he was involved in a brawl in which the principal was punched while trying to break up the incident, resulting in Thomson being placed in a juvenile hall. Afterwards, Thomson went to live with his father in Idaho where he went to high school and competed in wrestling. Thomson continued wrestling at junior college powerhouse, North Idaho Community College, and also attended Stanford University[5] but decided the school was not for him after only attending for a few weeks. His college wrestling record was 40-3. In 2000, Thomson was involved in an alcohol-fueled brawl while on a lake cruise in Idaho. In the melee Thomson choked one man so badly that he required CPR and as a result, Thomson was charged with felony aggravated assault, serving six months of a three-year sentence before being released for good behavior.[6]

Josh Thomson made his acting debut in 2014 on Roger Corman's action film Fist of the dragon where he plays the leading man. He has been nominated as best actor in the 2016 Action on Film International Film Festival, USA and 2017 WideScreen Film & Music Video Festival in Miami. He is the winner of Best Action Sequence Martial Arts Feature at the 2016 Action on Film International Film Festival, USA.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Thomson started out very strongly in his MMA career winning his first two professional bouts, before going to a no contest with Kid Yamamoto. Thomson would then go on to win his next three fights, including a win over former WEC Lightweight Champion Rob McCullough.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Thomson made his debut in the UFC at UFC 44 defeating Gerald Strebendt by knockout in the first round. He would then pick up a decision victory over Hermes Franca in an incredible fight at UFC 46, before falling victim in his next fight to a highlight reel KO finish at the hands and foot of Yves Edwards.[7]


Thomson was 2-1 in the UFC and 7-1(1) overall before leaving the UFC and opting instead to go overseas to Japan and fight once for PRIDE FC. He won his single fight in PRIDE by submission in the first round. Thomson then signed with Strikeforce and would lose his debut fight with the company (a fight for the vacant Strikeforce Lightweight Championship to Clay Guida) but would then go on to win his next six fights, including victories over Duane Ludwig and Nam Phan and would earn another shot at the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship.

On June 27, 2008, he defeated Gilbert Melendez by unanimous decision at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson to become the new Strikeforce Lightweight Champion.

On November 21, 2008, Thomson was scheduled to make his first title defense in a rematch against Yves Edwards at Strikeforce: Destruction but had to pull out after tearing ligaments in his toe.[8] Duane Ludwig was selected to take Thomson's place on the card. On April 11, 2009, Thomson was scheduled to make his first title defense in a rematch against Gilbert Melendez at Strikeforce's debut on the Showtime Network, but had to pull out after breaking his ankle while training on April 1, 2009. Rodrigo Damm was selected to take Thomson's place on the card.

On August 15, 2009, Thomson was scheduled to unify his title with the newly crowned Strikeforce Interim Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg, but suffered a broken leg in training.[9] Mitsuhiro Ishida was selected to take Thomson's place against Melendez.[10]

On December 19, 2009 at Strikeforce: Evolution, Thomson fought Gilbert Melendez for the Lightweight Championship.[11] Thomson would lose the fight by unanimous decision, but the fight would see both fighters put it all on the line in what would prove to be a very fast-paced and exciting fight.

Thomson fought Pat Healy at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum and won by rear naked choke late in the 3rd round. After this win, Dave Camarillo granted him his black belt in Guerrilla jiu-jitsu. Thomson broke two ribs during the fight on Healy's very first takedown and fought the rest of the fight very defensively.

Thomson fought Gesias Cavalcante on October 9, 2010 at Strikeforce: San Jose where he won a controversial unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 30–27).[12]

Thomson's next fight was against Tatsuya Kawajiri under the DREAM banner at its end of year event Dynamite!! 2010.[13] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.

Thomson was expected to face promotional newcomer Maximo Blanco at Strikeforce World Grand Prix: Barnett vs. Kharitonov but yet another foot injury forced him out of the bout.[14]

Thomson returned in March 2012 and face K.J. Noons at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey.[15] He won the fight via unanimous decision.

Thomson once again faced Gilbert Melendez for the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier on May 19, 2012. He lost the fight via split decision.

Return to the UFC[edit]

Following the dissolution of Strikeforce in January 2013, Thomson returned to the UFC and faced Nate Diaz on April 20, 2013 at UFC on Fox 7.[16] He won the fight via TKO (head kick and punches), becoming the first fighter to finish Diaz by way of strikes. The win also earned him his first Knockout of the Night bonus award.[17]

Thomson was expected to face current UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis on December 14, 2013 at UFC on Fox 9, replacing an injured TJ Grant,[18] However, the bout was cancelled after Pettis pulled out of the bout citing a knee injury.[19]

Thomson faced Benson Henderson on January 25, 2014 in the main event at UFC on Fox 10.[20] Henderson defeated Thomson via split decision.[21] Many media outlets and observers were split on who they thought should have been declared the winner.[22][23][24] Thomson had one more takedown (5 to 4) and was able to secure Henderson's back on multiple occasions, while Henderson was able to significantly outstrike Thomson (114 to 33) over the duration of the bout and was credited with the bout's only submission attempt.[25] During the first round Thomson broke the thumb on his right hand, contributing to his inability to punch with much effectiveness.[26] Disappointed in the result of the Henderson bout, Thomson indicated in the post-fight press conference, that he may be "done" with the UFC or fighting.[27]

Thomson was expected to face Michael Johnson on July 26, 2014 at UFC on Fox 12.[28][29] However, on July 11, Johnson pulled out of the bout due to injury and was replaced by Bobby Green.[30] Thomson lost the bout to Green by split decision.

Thomson was expected to face Gilbert Burns on March 21, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 62.[31] However, on February 26, Thomson pulled out of the fight with an undisclosed injury, while Burns remained on the card against a replacement.[32]

Thomson faced Tony Ferguson at UFC Fight Night: Mir vs. Duffee on July 15, 2015.[33] He lost the fight via unanimous decision. Thomson's contract ended after his bout with Ferguson and he opted not to re-sign with the UFC.[34]

Bellator MMA[edit]

On August 11, 2015, Thomson signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA.[35] He made his debut on September 19, 2015 at Bellator MMA & Glory: Dynamite 1 against Mike Bronzoulis, winning via submission in the third round.

In his second fight for the promotion, Thomson faced Pablo Villaseca on December 4, 2015 at Bellator 147.[36] He won the fight via TKO in the second round.

In his third fight for Bellator MMA Thomson faced Patricky Freire in the main event at Bellator 172.[37] He lost the fight via knockout in the second round.

Personal life[edit]

Before becoming a full-time professional fighter, Thomson worked in construction.[38]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 22–9 (1) Patricky Freire KO (punch) Bellator 172 February 18, 2017 2 0:40 San Jose, California, United States
Win 22–8 (1) Pablo Villaseca KO (punches) Bellator 147 December 4, 2015 2 3:59 San Jose, California, United States
Win 21–8 (1) Mike Bronzoulis Submission (arm-triangle choke) Bellator 142: Dynamite 1 September 19, 2015 3 0:39 San Jose, California, United States
Loss 20–8 (1) Tony Ferguson Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Mir vs. Duffee July 15, 2015 3 5:00 San Diego, California, United States
Loss 20–7 (1) Bobby Green Decision (split) UFC on Fox: Lawler vs. Brown July 26, 2014 3 5:00 San Jose, California, United States
Loss 20–6 (1) Benson Henderson Decision (split) UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Thomson January 25, 2014 5 5:00 Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 20–5 (1) Nate Diaz TKO (head kick and punches) UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez April 20, 2013 2 3:44 San Jose, California, United States Knockout of the Night.
Loss 19–5 (1) Gilbert Melendez Decision (split) Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier May 19, 2012 5 5:00 San Jose, California, United States For the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship.
Win 19–4 (1) KJ Noons Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey March 3, 2012 3 5:00 Columbus, Ohio, United States Strikeforce Lightweight title eliminator.
Loss 18–4 (1) Tatsuya Kawajiri Decision (unanimous) Dynamite!! 2010 December 31, 2010 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Win 18–3 (1) Gesias Cavalcante Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons II October 9, 2010 3 5:00 San Jose, California, United States
Win 17–3 (1) Pat Healy Submission (rear-naked choke) Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum June 26, 2010 3 4:27 San Jose, California, United States
Loss 16–3 (1) Gilbert Melendez Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Evolution December 19, 2009 5 5:00 San Jose, California, United States Lost the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship.
Win 16–2 (1) Ashe Bowman TKO (punches) Strikeforce: At The Mansion II September 20, 2008 1 1:14 Beverly Hills, California, United States
Win 15–2 (1) Gilbert Melendez Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson June 27, 2008 5 5:00 San Jose, California, United States Won the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship.
Win 14–2 (1) Adam Lynn KO (punches) Strikeforce: Playboy Mansion September 29, 2007 1 4:45 Beverly Hills, California, United States
Win 13–2 (1) Nick Gonzalez Submission (rear-naked choke) Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni June 22, 2007 1 1:42 San Jose, California, United States Defended the Strikeforce U.S. Lightweight Championship.
Win 12–2 (1) Nam Phan Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Triple Threat December 8, 2006 3 5:00 San Jose, California, United States Won the Strikeforce U.S. Lightweight Championship.
Win 11–2 (1) Duane Ludwig Submission (guillotine choke) Strikeforce: Tank vs. Buentello October 7, 2006 2 4:36 Fresno, California, United States
Win 10–2 (1) Rocky Johnson Submission (armbar) Pride and Fury 5 July 6, 2006 1 1:55 Worley, Idaho, United States
Win 9–2 (1) Harris Sarmiento Submission (arm-triangle choke) Strikeforce: Revenge June 9, 2006 3 3:19 San Jose, California, United States
Loss 8–2 (1) Clay Guida Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Gracie March 10, 2006 5 5:00 San Jose, California, United States For the vacant Strikeforce Lightweight Championship. Guida was deducted one point for eye gouging.
Win 8–1 (1) Daisuke Sugie Submission (kneebar) PRIDE Bushido 8 July 17, 2005 1 2:35 Nagoya, Japan
Loss 7–1 (1) Yves Edwards KO (flying head kick and punches) UFC 49 August 21, 2004 1 4:32 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 7–0 (1) Hermes França Decision (unanimous) UFC 46 January 31, 2004 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 6–0 (1) Gerald Strebendt KO (punches) UFC 44 September 26, 2003 1 2:45 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 5–0 (1) Rob McCullough Decision (unanimous) WFA 3: Level 3 November 23, 2002 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 4–0 (1) Kajan Johnson Submission (elbows) SE: North American Sport Fighting Invitational September 7, 2002 2 4:56 Boise, Idaho, United States
Win 3–0 (1) Doug Evans Submission (triangle choke) NW Submission Fighting 1 May 4, 2002 1 1:29 Boise, Idaho, United States
NC 2–0 (1) Norifumi Yamamoto NC (groin kick) Shogun 1 December 15, 2001 2 2:00 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States Accidental groin kick rendered Yamamoto unable to continue.[39]
Win 2–0 Víctor Estrada Submission (triangle choke) Gladiators Vale Tudo March 10, 2001 2 N/A Worley, Idaho, United States
Win 1–0 Jason Abajian KO (punches) Bushido 1 January 18, 2001 1 N/A Tempe, Arizona, United States


Year Title Alternative title Role Notes
2013 Fist of the Dragon 《龍拳》 Damon (lead actor) Produced by Roger Corman, Directed by Antony Szeto, Lead actors: Josh Thomson, JuJu Chan, Ellary Porterfield, Maria Tran
2013 Fight Life Himself MMA Documentary

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Mir vs. Duffee". Retrieved July 17, 2015. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Josh Thomson - Official UFC Fighter Profile". Retrieved July 17, 2015. 
  4. ^ Dave Camarillo (June 28, 2010). "I just awarded Josh Thomson his Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt!". Retrieved July 17, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-03. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  7. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Thomson Out, Ishida in Against Melendez
  11. ^ "". Archived from the original on November 25, 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2009.  External link in |title= (help)
  12. ^ Mike Chiappetta. "Strikeforce Live Blog: Josh Thomson vs. JZ Cavalcante Updates". 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "K.J. Noons vs. Josh Thomson targeted for 'Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier' in March". January 6, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson added to April's UFC on FOX 7 event". January 29, 2013. 
  17. ^ Staff (2013-04-20). "UFC on FOX 7 bonuses: Brown, Mein, Romero, Thomson earn $50,000". Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  18. ^ Staff (2013-09-16). "Anthony Pettis vs. Josh Thomson booked for UFC on FOX 9 headliner". Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  19. ^ Staff (2013-11-11). "UFC on Fox 9: Anthony Pettis Injury Forces Title Fight Postponement". Retrieved 2013-11-11. 
  20. ^ Matt Erickson (2013-11-17). "Benson Henderson vs. Josh Thomson headlines UFC on FOX 10 in Chicago". Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  21. ^ Brett Okamoto (2014-01-25). "Henderson edges Thomson in thriller". Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  22. ^ Staff (2014-01-25). "Benson Henderson defeats Josh Thomson". Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  23. ^ Benson Henderson gets controversial nod over Josh Thomson at UFC on Fox 10
  24. ^ UFC on FOX 10 results: Ben Henderson wins controversial call over Josh Thomson
  25. ^ "UFC on Fox 10". 2014-01-25. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  26. ^ UFC on FOX 10 results: Emotional Josh Thomson breaks thumb early, ponders MMA retirement after controversial decision loss
  27. ^ Matt Erickson (2014-01-26). "Josh Thomson considering retirement after UFC on FOX 10 loss". Retrieved 2014-01-26. 
  28. ^ Mike Chiapetta (2014-05-09). "Josh Thomson vs. Michael Johnson set for FOX UFC Saturday on July 26". Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  29. ^ Henderson, Jason (10 May 2014). "Josh Thomson Vs Michael Johnson Goes Down At UFC On FOX 12". Fight of the Night. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  30. ^ Thomas Gerbasi (2014-07-11). "Green in for the Menace against Thomson". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  31. ^ Sean Bio (2014-05-09). "Josh Thomson vs. Gilbert Burns slated for UFC Fight Night 62". Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  32. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2015-02-26). "Josh Thomson injured, out of UFC Fight Night 62 co-main event bout against Gilbert Burns". Retrieved 2015-02-26. 
  33. ^ Staff (2015-03-30). "Tony Ferguson-Josh Thomson Lightweight Bout Added to UFC Fight Night in San Diego". Retrieved 2015-05-05. 
  34. ^ Ben Fowlkes (2015-07-15). "UFC Fight Night 71 results: Tony Ferguson dominates durable, bloodied Josh Thomson". Retrieved 2015-07-15. 
  35. ^ Ariel Helwani (2015-08-12). "Dana White: UFC released Josh Thomson". Retrieved 2015-08-12. 
  36. ^ "Bellator 147 Fight Card". 2015-12-11. 
  37. ^ "Josh Thomson vs. Patricky 'Pitbull' Freire set as Bellator 172 co-main event". MMAjunkie. 2017-01-28. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  38. ^ James Iannotti. "Ready or not: exclusive interview with Josh Thomson". 
  39. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gilbert Melendez
3rd Strikeforce Lightweight Champion
June 27, 2008 - December 19, 2009
Succeeded by
Gilbert Melendez