clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Dana White: UFC released Josh Thomson

New, comments
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bellator officially announced Tuesday evening that it had inked MMA veteran Josh Thomson to a new multi-fight contract.

In a press release to announce the move, Thomson appeared to take exception with MMAFighting.com's original report, which stated the UFC decided against offering him a new contract following his loss to Tony Ferguson last month.

MMAFighting.com obtained an e-mail, entitled "Josh Thomson offer," sent from Thomson's manager Bob Cook to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva on Aug. 10, which backs up this report.

"I know you said it wasn't necessary," Cook wrote in the e-mail, "but here's the offer for Thomson[. I] was trying to do everything by the book. The sooner you can let me know we can proceed would be appreciated thank you."

As reported earlier, Silva didn't match the offer sent to him on Aug. 10, nor did he offer a new contract.

MMAFighting.com later reached out to Cook for further comment, but he politely declined to discuss the matter on the record. Multiple sources close to Thomson did confirm that while preliminary contract talks occurred months before Thomson's contract expired, no new deal was offered following the July 15 Ferguson fight.

Furthermore, UFC president Dana White confirmed the initial report, as well:

"We told them we weren't interested," White said. "We released Josh. We didn't even want to match. He was free to deal with whoever he wanted to after his last fight and they knew we weren't going to match.

"Good for Bob," White continued. "He's supposed to make believe that more people want [his client]. That's how he makes Josh more money."

The 36-year-old Thomson (20-8, 1 NC) is currently on a three-fight losing streak following his unanimous decision loss to Ferguson on July 15. Prior to that defeat, he dropped two split decisions to Benson Henderson and Bobby Green. Thomson returned to the UFC in April 2013 after a nine-year hiatus with an impressive TKO win over Nate Diaz, which earned him a title shot, however, he missed out on that opportunity after then-champion Anthony Pettis pulled out of their title fight due to an injury.

No word just yet on when "The Punk" will debut with Bellator.