To say Josh Thomson has had a rough go of late would be putting things mildly.
For years the former king of Strikeforce's lightweight division could do nothing but watch as his stock plummeted under a cascade of injuries and fatigue, relegating him to the sidelines and slashing precious seconds out of the small window of his career.
Now, just ten days out from Thomson's first appearance in 14 months, a co-headlining bout against K.J. Noons at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey, he revealed that the ingredients for his physical breakdown started simmering far earlier than anyone could have imagined.
"In my (Pat) Healy fight, in my JZ (Cavalcante) fight, and obviously with the (Tatsuya) Kawajiri fight, I just felt flat," he confessed on Tuesday's conference call. "Sure, I had the conditioning, the muscle endurance, all that stuff to go, but I didn't feel strong. I didn't feel at my top game like I did when I was on my eight-fight win streak."
So when yet another injury forced Thomson out of a match-up with Maximo Blanco in September, the 33-year-old knew it was time to reexamine his process. There had to be a reason behind this. Something as drastic as four fights since September 2008 doesn't just happen.
As it turned out, Thomson had been his own worst enemy.
"I was doing ... four workouts a day, three days a week, and I just noticed I was getting hurt and injured a lot, and my body was just breaking down," he explained.
"I just kind of weaned back on a couple of the things I felt weren't as important in this camp."
If Thomson's presence in Tuesday's conference was any indication, the revamped training program has thus far proven to be successful. By his own admission, the Californian looks and feels better than he has in years.
Still, the athletic world is bathed in superstition, and even the smallest change in regimen can raise doubt. In Thomson's case, however, the prospect of a revitalized career left him with little choice.
"I'm a little nervous in doing something this different against somebody like K.J., given all his experience -- you know he's been in the cage with some top guys -- but we felt like it was something that had to be done," he finished.
"Obviously I've spent half my career on the shelf because of injuries, so we really cut back on the workload ... and hopefully that pays off."