Josh Thomson used a stifling ground attack to control K.J. Noons, earning a unanimous decision victory with scores of 29-28 across the board.
Thomson wasted little time establishing his kicks to start the bout, controlling the distance as Noons looked to get in range to use his boxing. Thomson scored with a jump-kick to the jaw, and followed up with a big right hand as Noons retreated. Noons then got his jab working, doubling up with his left hand as he stalked Thomson across the cage. Thomson responded with several front kicks to the body before getting a takedown and controlling position from the top for the final two minutes of the first round.
Noons came out in the second taunting Thomson, inviting him to stand and bang. Thomson refused, instead looking to get the fight back to the mat. Thomson then fired off a head kick, slipping to the mat, but was able to reverse positions and end up back on top. The fighters were restarted after a stall in the action, and that’s when Noons finally was able to get on track. He scored with a big uppercut and flurried to the body, and stayed aggressive with another multiple-punch combination. Noons continued to score, but a late takedown by Thomson may have stolen the round.
Thomson secured a quick takedown in the third round and locked up a tight arm triangle as the fight hit the mat. Noons fought off the submission attempt and looked to be in deep trouble as Thomson continued to look for the finish. Somehow he managed to survive, but was far from out of trouble. Thomson continued to control the action from the top, landing short elbows and right hands to the face of a bloodied Noons. Noons desperately tried to create space and get off of his back, but the stifling control of Thomson proved too much as time ran out on the bout.
In the end, it would be Josh Thomson (19-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC, 10-3 SF) that would earn the unanimous decision victory, possibly setting up yet another showdown with current Strikeforce lightweight kingpin Gilbert Melendez.