February 19, 2009
Nick Thompson Talks MFC, Paul Daley
By: Keith Mills - Feb 19, 2009
UFC vet Nick Thompson has made huge sacrifices fighting while working his way through law school but the rewards have been worth it. Having recently passed the bar exam and going about as far as he could fighting in Russia, Costa Rica, and Japan one might think it is time to hang up the gloves to settle down with his wife. Not the case for Nick as he travels to Alberta this weekend to fight fellow EliteXC vet Paul Daley in MFC live on HDNet.
KM: How did you get involved with MFC?
NT: (Derrick) Noble was there first. He is my teammate. Mark treated him
well so I was interested in fighting there. When EliteXC folded I was
talking about fighting Alessio but they signed Daley for that fight. Daley
is somebody I'd love to fight; he is the number one striker in my weight
class. There is Thiago Alves but I think I'd give it to Daley in just
striking. Once I knew they had Daley I called Mark about this show about
being on this card.
KM: Strikeforce picked up many of the old EliteXC contracts and the rest
seemed to go to KOTC. What is your contract situation with all that?
NT: I still have fights left on that deal but non-exclusive. Until they tell
me otherwise I'm not fighting for them. If they call me up and tell me they
have a fight for me, great. Until I hear from them I'm assuming they are
done. I just had an attorney look at the contract. The days of just signing
your name and trusting the promoter have come and gone. I have people
looking over every contract I do.
KM: Where are you in your law school degree?
NT: I'm all done. I took the bar two days after I fought Jake Shields and
KM: Is this an area of law you are interested in getting in?
NT: Very much so. In fact I talked to people who represent Brock Lesnar
among others about possibly doing work for them.
KM: To what degree are you concentrating on being a fighter as opposed to
being a lawyer?
NT: I've only interviewed for a job but am fully open to possibilities, even
going so far as to hang up fighting and just doing law. Something in-between
is great but I sacrifice a lot in order to fight and it would be nice to go
to a buffet with my wife. It would be nice for the fighters to have somebody
who has been in their shoes and knows what they are dealing with as well as
know the law.
KM: What do you think about fighting Paul Daley?
NT: I'm really excited. As I said I think he is the number one striker at
170 pounds. The only reason to fight is to test yourself against the best
guys. I fought the best jiu-jitsu guy in the weight class Jake Shields and
now fighting the best striker. I'm excited.
KM: How is preparation for this fight different than for Eddie Alvarez?
NT: I don't know if it is a whole lot different. I have to be a little more
wary of his kicks as his kicks are a little more dangerous than Eddie's but
it is going to be the same kind of fight where I need to be ready to use
good footwork to stay away because if you stay in range he can knock you
KM: Do you anticipate this fight going to the ground?
NT: I hope it goes to the ground. I feel I have an edge there. Paul may not
be a real great wrestler when you have the striking ability he has it
doesn't open up the takedowns because you have to worry about defending the
strikes. He took down John Alessio so there is the possibility he might be
taking me down.
KM: What did you think of his fight against Jake Shields?
NT: I thought he had a really good gameplan. I think he knew Jake was better
than him on the ground and rather than make a mistake where I did trying to
out-jiu-jitsu Jake he just said 'fine, you are on top of me and you are
going to hit me a little bit but eventually the ref is going to stand us
back up and I'm going to have another change to knock you out'. I think it
was a great strategy that didn't work for him but a good idea. It showed he
is a very smart fighter.
KM: That is the first time Jake looked bad.
NT: He realized Jake is not a real active fighter on top. He waits for the
bottom guy to move and then submits them just like he did with me.
KM: Tell us about your fight with Jake.
NT: I'm still disappointed. It is heartbreaking anytime you put that much
work into getting ready for a fight and then not only lose but lose in a
minute on national television. I know I'm a much better fighter than that.
That being said I think it is what MMA is all about. I overestimated my
jiu-jitsu ability; Jake saw me make a mistake and capitalized. It was an
excellent gameplan by him and what jiu-jitsu and fighting and MMA in general
is all about. It was a mistake he saw me do on tape. I didn't know better at
the time and Jake knew better and exploited it. We have been working hard at
the gym and it is not going to happen ever again.
KM: Since then you picked up a win over Travis McCullough in Madtown
Throwdown. Tell us about that fight.
NT: Not a huge deal. He is a forty-fight veteran and more than anything I
wanted to get back in the ring and knock off some rust before I fight
someone like Daley, more than anything a preparation for Daley. I took him
down and ground-and-pounded him. He tapped out to punches.
KM: At Extreme Challenge in New Jersey you were cornering Nat McIntyre. Any
sense of distraction that you were there during your own training cycle?
NT: No. Nat is our striking coach, one of the best American Muay Thai
strikers. Being out there with him was exactly what I needed, like I would
hold pads for him. It was a little bit of role reversal but we are pretty
good about coaching each other in the gym.
KM: How have you changed since your fight in EliteXC?
NT: Nothing really changed, just improved.
KM: Anything else to get across to the fans?
NT: I just want to get back to my winning ways. Losing sucks.
KM: Brock Larson from your team and weight class is fighting in the UFC. How
has he helped prepare you for Daley?
NT: We are always training together. Everybody at the gym helps each other.
KM: How would you describe Brock Lesnar's training at this time?
NT: I've really been impressed with Brock since the day he came in. There is
always the size people talk about but what really impressed me is he is
willing to learn. He came in like a black slate saying 'teach me'. When you
get somebody that athletic and then has that attitude they are unstoppable.
I think if you want to complain about him getting a title shot that is a
fair complaint because he was 1-1 at that point but at the point he beat
Randy Couture he obviously deserves to be there.
KM: What is your opinion of Derrick Noble vs. Antonio McKee on this same
NT: Well I hope it isn't boring because if it is boring it means McKee won.
Derrick and McKee are definitely top-level guys. McKee is just really
boring. You want to win on the one hand but still want to make it exciting
and doing that against McKee is going to be tough. Noble can knock you out
so easily with one punch and with McKee it looks like Derrick is going to
get at least five chances to do that.
KM: Sponsors to thank?
NT: Tapout, Gamma-O, MMA Warehouse, and Calio Shoes