UFC on FOX 7 Picks: Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson

Josh ThomsonUFC on FOX 7 HP Pavilion, San Jose, California Saturday, April 20, 2013 Lightweight Title: Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson Fight Breakdown: Former Strikeforce Lightweight champion Josh Thomson fights in the UFC for the first time in eight years as he meets Nate Diaz in a Lightweight bout that will take place on the main card of UFC on FOX 7. Diaz is currently a -200 favorite (bet $200 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers, while Thomson is a +170 underdog (bet $100 to win $170). Diaz (16-8) fought for the UFC Lightweight Title in his last outing at UFC on FOX 5 but ended up losing a unanimous decision to champion Benson Henderson. The 27-year-old native of Stockton, CA, who is an excellent boxer with slick BJJ skills, holds notable wins over top 10 Lightweights Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone, and he’s one of the most exciting fighters in the world as his 10 combined “Knockout of the Night,” “Submission of the Night,” and “Fight of the Night” awards attest to. However, Diaz’ problem has always been with strong wrestlers, as he’s had trouble stuffing the takedowns, which might be an issue against Thomson, who is a guy who likes to take his opponents to the floor and beat them up there. Thomson (20-5, 1 NC) is returning to the UFC after a successful run in Strikeforce where he became the organization’s Lightweight champion. The 34-year-old California native has long been one of the most underrated 155 pounders out there, and it’s no different in this fight as he comes in as the underdog. This is despite the fact that Thomson is one of only two men to defeat Gilbert Melendez, who is considered the No. 2 Lightweight in the world. Although Thomson has knockout power, he is primarily a wrestler and submission fighter as 15 of his 20 victories have come via tapout or decision, with most of those decisions being via wrestling. The blueprint to beat Diaz is there — take him to the ground — and Thomson just has to follow it to get his hand raised. Will he be successful? We’ll see, but this is most certainly a fight he can win. Fight Prediction: Diaz will attempt to use his range to keep Thomson at bay, but Thomson is eventually going to get inside and get a hold of Diaz’ legs and take him to the ground. From there he’ll use his heavy top game to control Diaz and eventually win a judges’ decision on points. Adam’s Pick: Thomson via decision (click for latest MMA odds) Adam’s Recommended Play: I like Thomson for a straight play here at the +170 price tag. I think he should probably be favored in the fight due to the style matchup, so you’re getting him at a bargain. He’s no lock or anything as Diaz can win the fight if it stays standing, but if Thomson uses his wrestling he will get the victory.

Written by Adam Martin.

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