Josh Thomson easily beat K.J. Noons on Saturday night's Strikeforce card, dominating him for three rounds in a fight that showed Thomson had superior takedowns and wrestling, but didn't show much else: The fight wasn't particularly aesthetically pleasing, and it left the crowd booing.
All three judges scored it 29-28 for Thomson, who described his performance as "s--t" afterward.
Now Thomson may get a rubber match with Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. Thomson beat Melendez in 2008, then lost to Melendez in 2009. Melendez has steadily improved and Thomson hasn't, however, and Melendez will be a heavy favorite heading into a rubber match.
Most of the first round of Thomson-Noons was a stalemate, with Thomson holding Noons down against the fence but not really advancing his position at all, and the fans began to boo the lack of action. Thomson deserved to win the round because he was the one in control, but it wasn't a particularly impressive round for either man.
Early in the second round Thomson threw a head kick and slipped onto his back, allowing Noons to get on top of him on the ground. But Thomson was able to reverse positions and wind up on top of Noons, once again controlling things from the top position. The fans were growing restless again, and the loudest cheer of the fight came when the referee stood the fight up because Thomson was on top and not doing much of anything. It wasn't long, however, before Thomson took Noons down and got on top of him again near the fence, and that's how the round ended, with the fans booing again.
In the third round it only took Thomson 30 seconds to use a trip takedown to get on top of Noons, and from the top position he sunk in an arm-triangle choke. Noons bucked Thomson off to escape that choke, but Thomson remained relentless on the top and wouldn't give up, and Thomson also got more active with ground and pound than he had been in the first two rounds. It was an easy round for Thomson and an easy win.