For a guy who’s fighting some stiff competition in Mitsuhiro Ishida tonight, Gilbert Melendez sure seems to be having a hard time getting over the fact that Josh Thomson isn’t his opponent any more. Half the interviews he’s given this past week focus more on Josh pulling out of their fight with an injury than his new opponent Ishida (who beat Melendez soundly the last time they fought, by the way). But today MMA Weekly has an interview with Josh, and from what he’s saying it doesn’t really sound like his fault:
Rumors surfaced a few weeks ago that he could be suffering from a lingering injury, and just days later the California based fighter was scratched from the card that was supposed to bring him his first official title defense as champion.
“The commission got from the headlines on a website that I wasn’t 100-percent healed and basically they wanted verification that I could fight.”
The injury was actually a separate break on his leg from the broken leg he suffered that kept him out of his last scheduled fight against Gilbert Melendez. According to Thomson it was a second x-ray that was taken just before he was pulled out of the fight when a hairline fracture was discovered which prevented him from gaining medical clearance.
Despite the injury, up until the commission actually forced him off the card, Thomson says he had every intention of fighting.
“I had already been training on it for three weeks. It hurt, and I was trying to work through the pain and stuff, but maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. You never know what would have happened,” Thomson said.
Of course this comes with what I’d like to call the Jamie Varner Excuse Disclaimer: fighters will often bend the truth to not sound like a pussy and it’s always possible that Thomson is leaving out a few pertinent details in this story. But that’s a pretty jaded way of thinking and I’d rather just take the dude’s word for it until I have a reason to doubt him. Considering he shut Melendez out five rounds to nothing in their last fight, it’s not like he’s ducking the guy or something.