Bobby Green stepped up on late notice to replace the injured Michael Johnson and pulled off the upset with a decision win over former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson at UFC on FOX 12. In a fun and competitive fight, Green earned a split decision nod in a fight that could have gone either way. Though some may not have agreed with the judges’ verdict, it is unbeknownst to no one that Green belongs amongst the elite at lightweight.
Now 4-0 in the UFC, Green is likely to be put into the top 10 after defeating the man ranked #3 in Josh Thomson. Thomson was coming into the fight off another split decision, losing to Benson Henderson in the main event in January in a fight many labelled a ‘robbery’. Though the terms robbery and close fight are often confused, anyone who labels this fight with Green a robbery will be very wrong.
With the most impressive victory of his career, Green made a huge statement, winning his eighth straight fight overall.
Here is how the fight played out.
This fight will really establish where both guys are in the division. Thomson coming off a loss, Green coming off three straight wins. However, Thomson’s loss was highly controversial and against the former #1 lightweight in the world, and Green is coming in off relatively short notice. A lot of questions should be answered in this fight.
Round 1 – Thomson with a nice outside leg kick, and another. Then to the inside. Green with a leg kick, but misses the jab. Thomson’s kick is countered by a right but Green, Thomson momentarily hits the canvas due to a slip. Teep by Green. Leg kick. Thomson scoring with these leg kicks. He’s smiling a lot. A 1-2 lands for Thomson. The front kick misses for Green. Body kick checked by Thomson. Nice combination by Thomson, Green shrugs it off but he landed there. Green doubles up the left jab. Nice combination from Green, who seems to be stepping it up a gear now. Half of the round remaining. Thomson with the head kick, that grazed Green there. Well disguised by Thomson. Nice combination as Green pressed forward. Body kick from Green but doesn’t land flush. Nice body shot by Thomson, but Green pokes him in the eye as Thomson presses forward. That seems painful. They resume. Leg kick, and another by Thomso. Bobby Green with a sneaky left. Green is talking a lot. Green caught him with that jab. Leg kick lands. Thomson blitzes him. He attempts the trip but unable to land it, then a nice short right lands for the former Strikeforce champ. Thomson avoids Green then lands a short uppercut. Leg kicks by Green, who continues to press forward but not mounting any significant offence. Body kick, then to the leg. Nice jab by Green. Close round.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Thomson.
Round 2 – Thomson with a scissor kick missing. Green with the body kick but Thomson catches it and lands a couple of shots. Leg kick from Thomson, and a nice jab. Head kick grazes him. Green goes body then misses to the head. Green with the jab but Thomson counters. Leg kick from King. Nice combination from Green. Great combination by Thomson. And another! The head kick grazed him there. Teep by Green, then a body shot. Leg kick. Body kick from Green. Body shot. He’s doing well at mixing it up. Thomson with a nice jab. Huge overhand right caught Green there. Thomson’s head movement is looking great. Jab by Green. Jab by Green, but Thomson slips and rips. Leg kick then to the body from Green. Jab then uppercut misses from King. Green has landed tons more strikes. Body kick from Thomson. Nice overhand right by Thomson. That technique is working well. Body shot from Green, then he dodges the counter. Thomson rushes him but doesn’t get the clinch. A minute left. Body-head from Green. 1-2 by Thomson. Overhand right and another by Thomson. Takedown by Punk! And he drags him again! But Green right back up and a couple of short shots as he circles away. Body-head by Thomson again. That was a big moment in the fight. Leg kick from Josh, to the calf a lá Benson Henderson. Nice short right by Thomson. Another fun and close round.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Thomson (20-18 Thomson).
Round 3 – Green goes body-head, that body shot landed well. Thomson just misses with the spinning back fist. Green pressing the action, and shoots in for the double. Thomson defending well so far. Great job by The Punk. Green has him against the cage now and lands a short right followed by knees to the body. A right on the exit by Green. Green with the flying knee! But Thomson catches it and is now working on a single leg. Great defence by Green, who lands a couple of short blows then an uppercut. Good round for Green so far. A couple of jabs then a body kick from King. Overhand right by Green. Leg kick lands for Thomson, and Green returns. Jab by Green but a nice combination by Thomson. And another. Then a knee to the body. Green tries to get the takedown again but Thomson defending well. Green has it! But Thomson right back up and lands some hammerfists as Green sprawls. They separate. Thomson has a small cut underneath his right eye. Both miss in that exchange. Thomson catches the leg but does nothing with it. Jab by Green, who avoids the reply of Thomson. Less than a minute left in this fight. Uppercut by Green, who avoids the counter of Thomson. Body kick from Thomson. 10 seconds remaining. Green with a nice straight left. Thomson attempts the head kick, then tries a 1-2. Great and close fight.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Green (29-28 Thomson).
Result: Green via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29).
That is simply huge for Bobby Green. It was razor close and Josh Thomson is a great fighter. Man, I can’t believe it. The blue corner is up 9-0 this event.
Check out the results for the fight card as they stand below. The full play-by-play can be seen here.
Main Card (FOX)
Bobby Green def. Josh Thomson via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29).
Preliminary Card (FOX)
Jorge Masvidal def. Daron Cruickshank via unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 29-27).
Patrick Cummins def. Kyle Kingsbury via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-24).
Tim Means def. Hernani Perpetuo via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
Brian Ortega def. Mike De La Torre via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:39 in first round.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Tiago Trator def. Akbarh Arreola via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x2).
Gilbert Burns def. Andreas Stahl via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
Joanna Jedrzejczyk def. Juliana Lima via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28).
Noad Lahat def. Steven Siler via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).