For Josh Thomson, the opportunity compete for the UFC lightweight title means he has come full-circle.
Thomson will face Anthony Pettis this December at UFC on FOX 9 from Sacramento. The 35-year-old made an emphatic return to the Octagon earlier this year, finishing Nate Diaz to improve to 20-5 in his career.
“I have come full circle,” said Thomson, during a recent press conference. “When I left the UFC in 2004, I left as the No. 1 lightweight in the world. It means a lot (to be competing for the title). Having longevity in this sport is important. I have seen the top names come and go, and the fact that I am still here and at the top, that means I have come full-circle.”
Thomson is a former Strikeforce champion and has gone 4-2 in his last six bouts. That includes a split decision loss to then-Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez in 2012.
Being a pro since 2001, “The Punk” has had to continually re-develop his game, going from a wrestler to a striker.
“You have to always get better,” he said. “I am always improving my craft. You see with all the top guys, we are always trying to find ways to get better.
“People figure out your game, you have to change it up. When one door closes up, another one opens.”