I started doing sports talk radio in August of 1998. In those 12 years, I have lost track of how many interviews I have done. I have been lucky enough to talk to some of the biggest names from the four major sports, plus boxing, MMA etc.
There have been plenty of good guests along the way, and some bad ones as well, but I don’t know when I have been as impressed with a guest as I was with Josh “The Punk” Thomson on last Saturday’s Clinch Gear Radio show. (www.clinchgear.com/radio)
Rarely do you hear the kind of insight from a current player, or in this case a current fighter as we heard from Thomson on Saturday. My broadcast partner, “The Fight Professor” Stephen Quadros asked Josh about the highs and lows of being on TV for a young fighter. Thomson said that, in his opinion, with two major promotions (UFC and Strikeforce) and so much MMA on television, a lot of young fighters are thrown on TV too early.
He feels that young fighters can benefit from the exposure shows like “The Ultimate Fighter” provide, but a lot of times these guys are not ready for the UFC, and the exposure can backfire. He thinks a better job can be done of grooming and promoting the fighters, so the time on the show becomes a learning experience. Josh talked about similarities between some of the guys on The Ultimate Fighter and rookies in the NFL who seem to run into trouble after signing their first big-money contract.
While I’m used to hearing things like that from retired NFL players who look at guys playing today and can only shake their head, it’s rare to hear that from a guy in the prime of his career like Josh Thomson.
Other highlights from The Punk:
When asked about the guillotine choke JZ Cavalcante had him in during the first round of their fight, Thomson said it was more of a “discomfort” feeling, and he made sure to wink at referee “Big” John McCarthy to let him know he was ok. He said the key to surviving was “staying calm, hanging out, and letting JZ’s arms blow up.”
We also talked about the issue with his knee brace at the start of the fight. If you didn’t see the fight, Thomson wore a pink knee brace into the cage. A member of the California State Athletic Commission told him the brace had to go. John McCarthy then said it was ok, before the final decision the knee brace had to be removed was made.
Thomson said he wore the pink knee brace for “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”. The Commission ruled he couldn’t wear the brace because it contained a foam pad, even though (according to Thomson) Josh has worn the exact knee brace in a different color over the course of his career. Josh said at that point he just wanted to fight so he took the brace off.
Trust me, this just scratches the surface of what was covered in the interview—I wish we had more time with Josh and look forward to having him back again.
Clinch Gear Radio airs every Saturday morning on XTRA Sports 1360 in San Diego from 11:00 AM – noon. This weekend we will preview UFC 121 with Mike Goldberg and Cesar Gracie—listen live at www.xtrasports1360.com.
Thanks for stopping by.