Self admittedly, Nick “The Goat” Thompson has come a very long way in his mixed martial arts career since the days when he had to pay $10 just to get a scrap at his local bar. The powerful 170 pounder recently put together a twelve fight win streak against some of the sports toughest competition and is widely known as one of the best welterweights in the business.
Thompson has plenty of reasons to be proud of his accomplishments in mixed martial arts and he currently has a very good reason to be proud of what he has been able to accomplish outside of the sport. Thompson’s most recent victory came as far away from the ring as one could imagine.
Thompson recently passed the Minnesota state bar exam and a career in law is inevitable once he decides he has accomplished all that he could in the game. The question for Thompson at this point in his career is when to make that formal crossover which would most likely include his departure from the sport that he has grown to love.
In an exclusive interview with FiveOuncesOfPain.com, Thompson admitted that even he doesn’t hold the answer to how long he will continue to fight with a promising career in law staring him right in his face. The answer to that question may very well lie in how successful or unsuccessful he is at Sengoku’s upcoming welterweight tournament.
Will the tournament be the last time we see the one that is known as “The Goat’ in action or will it just be the turning of a page in the distinguished career of Thompson? Time will tell.
Thompson will make those decisions when that time comes but for now he has his tunnel vision and all he can see is Paul Daley. The two have a date with destiny when they face off on February 20 at “MFC 20: Destined for Greatness.” Which of the talented welterweights will truly be destined for greatness will be determined by the bouts outcome in what will surely be an action filled contest between two of the divisions most dangerous competitors.
Cory Brady: Congratulations on passing the Minnesota state bar exam. That’s an amazing accomplishment. When did you decide that you wanted to pursue a career in law?
Nick Thompson: I have a BA in philosophy and think law is philosophy’s practical application. It seemed like a natural progression once I finished college.
Cory Brady: Which specific area of law do you plan on practicing in?
Nick Thompson: I enjoy tax, contracts and sports law. If I were to represent fighters and other athletes, it would allow me to practice all three areas. That would be ideal.
Cory Brady: Do you have plans to leave fighting for law anytime soon or do you see yourself fighting for many years to come?
Nick Thompson: After the Shields loss, I pondered moving to other areas. I sacrifice a lot in order to be at my best in mixed martial arts and I do not know how much longer I am willing to make those sacrifices. Sengoku has a welterweight tournament later this year and my future plans may turn on the outcome of my performance there.
Cory Brady: This is going to be your second fight in as many months. Do you have plans to stay busy in 2009?
Nick Thompson: I find it easier to train when I have a concrete goal. I want to fight as often as possible. I would fight 12 times a year if I could.
Cory Brady: How are you feeling physically heading into your fight with Paul Daley?
Nick Thompson: Despite being really disappointed in my performance on CBS, it was a god send as far as training. I don’t know what has gotten into me but I am tearing it up in the practice room. Hopefully that will carry over into the ring.
Cory Brady: Who are some of the key people that have been helping you to prepare for this one?
Nick Thompson: Sean Sherk, Derrick Noble, Jacob Volkman and Nik Lentz have been my main training partners. Nat McIntyre and Greg Nelson have been my primary coaches.
Cory Brady: What are some of the areas you have been focusing on in the gym since your bout with Jake Shields?
Nick Thompson: Not getting choked.
Cory Brady: How do you feel you match up with Daley?
Nick Thompson: Paul is scary on the feet but I feel like I should be able to hold my own with him there. If I can make the stand-up portion of the fight competitive, I think it will be easier to get it to the ground where I believe I have a distinct advantage.
Cory Brady: What do you think will be some of your key advantages over Daley?
Nick Thompson: I think my ability to utilize my jiu-jitsu and wrestling will determine whether I succeed in this fight.
Cory Brady: Are you going to be looking to get this fight to the ground as soon as possible or will you be confident trading with Daley?
Nick Thompson: I am going to try and stand but everyone says that until they get hit. Once I am hit, we will see what happens.
Cory Brady: When I spoke with Daley recently, he was quick to point out your win over Eddie Alvarez who is very similar to him in size and style somewhat. Do your wins over guys like Neer, Alvarez and Weir give you a certain level of confidence going into this fight with Daley?
Nick Thompson: It is nice to know that you have beaten guys who are at your opponents level but come fight time, those wins won’t do anything for me. I have to show up and be at my best or else I will be sorely disappointed in the result.
Cory Brady: Not looking past Paul Daley at all but would you like to have another fight with Jake Shields at some point down the road?
Nick Thompson: Yes. My goal is to improve until I am the better fighter. I won’t know if I have reached that goal unless I earn another fight with Jake.
Cory Brady: Everyone knows the story as to how you got your nickname but you definitely don’t have the same problem that you used to. Would you attribute that to developing a stronger chin or to not getting hit as much?
Nick Thompson: Both. I am more used to getting hit and also more knowledgeable about how to avoid being hit.
Cory Brady: I have to tell you, I’m a huge fan of the neck beard. Have you had enough time to establish a good neck beard for this upcoming fight or will you opt to go with the balding old man haircut?
Nick Thompson: No. I probably will come in clean cut. Sorry to disappoint.
Cory Brady: Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
Nick Thompson: As always, I would like to thank everyone at MMAA. I would also like to thank TapouT, MMA Warehouse, Gamma-O and Calio shoes for supporting me.