Nine years after his last octagon victory, Josh Thomson is back in the win column, in style.
In 25 pro fights, Nate Diaz had never been knocked out. That streak ended at Saturday night's UFC on FOX 7, when Thomson did it in his hometown of San Jose, California.
Shortly after the mid-point of the second round, Thomson landed a smashing head kick that put Diaz down, and then swarmed with ground strikes until the fight was over. Ref Mike Beltran stopped the bout, while at the same time, Diaz's corner threw in the towel.
The finish came at 3:44 of the second.
Thomson's climactic head-kick was set by his first round strategy, during which time he fought from distance and attacked Diaz's legs with kicks.
After so much time looking at those low kicks, Diaz was fooled on the one that counted. He slightly ducked forward, right into the arc of the kick which landed flush. Amazingly, he wasn't KO'd on impact, and instinctively tried to defend himself, but Thomson wouldn't let him off the hook.
Thomson's last victory in the UFC came in Jan. 2004, when he defeated Hermes Franca at UFC 46. Since then, he competed in PRIDE and Strikeforce, where he was the promotion's lightweight champion for a time.
Thomson had come into the bout losing two of his last three, including a decision to Diaz's teammate Gilbert Melendez.
Thomson is now 21-6 with 1 no contest.
After his second straight loss, Diaz dropped to 16-9.