With a non-title fight and an after-party at the world-famous Playboy Mansion looming, it would be easy to forgive Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson (15-2) were his focus to stray.
But as Thomson told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) at yesterday's "Strikeforce at the Mansion II" weigh-ins, the situation has been a blessing.
"It makes me really focus on my opponent more," Thomson said. "To not have to worry about the fact, 'Oh, gosh. If this goes three rounds, I've got to go two more.' I know I'm more than capable of going three rounds. Three rounds just seems like a walk in the park these days."
Thomson admits to knowing very little about his opponent, the Lion's Den's Ashe Bowman (9-4). But "The Punk" insists that will simply force him to be more aware of his opponent's actions.
"I heard he's a good grappler," Thomson said of Bowman. "I heard he's probably got heavy hands. It's kind of a feeling out process.
"When you don't have tape to watch, you really don't take what anybody says to heart. You just kind of go out there and feel him out yourself, see where the fight goes -- and try to dictate where it goes."
Thomson's June victory over former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez has vaulted Thomson into the top-10 of WAMMA's most recent lightweight rankings. While Thomson appreciates the recognition, the soon-to-be-30-year-old feels being placed in the final spot on the list is selling him short.
"To be honest, I don't pay attention to any of the rankings because the rankings [expletive] suck," Thomson said. "I think Eddie (Alvarez) should be either two or three, and then me somewhere in there. (Shinya) Aoki got knocked out. He shouldn't be up there.
"Don't get me wrong, I think those guys are all great. But styles make matchups, and you make the most out of your fights when you fight the [expletive]. That's how it works out."
Should Thomson make it past Bowman tonight, as most expect him to, the lightweight champ said he hopes to return to action in November. And while an opponent has yet to be determined, Thomson is planning to face stiff competition.
"I believe that if (Mistsuhiro) Ishida wins here that Ishida and I will fight Nov. 21 in San Jose at the HP Pavilion," Thomson said. "If Ishida loses here today, I believe (Ishida's opponent) Justin Wilcox will fight possibly Gilbert (Melendez).
"I've been lobbying to bring over a top guy from Japan -- possibly (Joachim) Hansen, or possibly Caol Uno since Uno just beat Ishida. I'd love to fight [Uno]. I think that fight here in the States would be a huge draw. Uno has one of the biggest name draws here in the States as well since he's fought in the UFC so much. I just think the two styles together would make a great fight."
Thomson first goal is to make it past Bowman tonight. But regardless of the result, the California native's focus will quickly shift to fighting in front of his hometown, San Jose.
"I want to fight in November whoever the opponent is."