Josh Thomson isn’t hiding the fact that his training camp for his matchup Saturday against Benson Henderson has been a tough one.
“This camp’s been real hard on me,” he told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “It’s just been a long camp. That’s really what it’s been. I did the five weeks for [Anthony] Pettis and then I had a week off and then I found out I was fighting Benson and then it’s been like 10, 11 weeks or maybe even a little bit more than that, probably 11 weeks for this fight. It’s just been a really long camp.”
Thomson had been set to challenge Pettis for the UFC lightweight title in December. After Pettis suffered an injury, though, Thomson was given a matchup with Henderson, which will headline Saturday’s UFC on Fox 10 card at the United Center in Chicago.
“You hear fighters talk about it all the time. It’s just that if you peak too soon, it kind of takes the luster out of the camp and out of the fight,” Thomson said. “… These last couple of weeks, I feel like I’ve peaked and then unpeaked and then I’ve been trying to peak again and unpeak, that kind of thing. You’re always up and down, up and down, but then honestly, like I said, the last week before the fight, you’re really just trying to get focused on the fight.”
To help him focus, Thomson is actually implementing some advice he picked up from Georges St. Pierre.
“I’ve taken a lot of advice from watching and listening to some of GSP’s old interviews and stuff,” he said. “He just spends time this week focusing on the fight, mentally preparing for it, and we’ll see how that goes.”
Despite the difficult training camp, Thomson has made some changes he believes has helped his endurance. The 35-year-old has a history of overtraining, but he’s seen improvement lately by using a salt loading technique and staying much better hydrated.
“A lot of those things had to do with the way I was mentally,” Thomson said of his overtraining. “I felt like I always had to do more, had to do more, I could do more. As time went on, I realized I couldn’t.”
Thomson is older and wiser now, and while he stops short of saying this is his last run, he acknowledges that he won’t be fighting that much longer. Regardless, he has positioned himself nicely in the UFC lightweight division, with a shot Saturday at the former champ.
“I think this is just one of those things where I’m hanging on here,” Thomson said. “I’m doing the best I can to stay focused on what my goal is, and the goal is just to try and be champ.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 34:01).