BodogFIGHT welterweight champion Nick Thompson is scheduled to return to the ring on February 1 against John Troyer on a TUFF-N-UFF show in Las Vegas that will be sponsored by Bodog.

For Thompson, it will be his first fight since defeating Mark Weir via TKO at 4:01 of round 1 during BodogFIGHT’s Vancouver tapings this past August. The title defense vs. Troyer also comes at a critical time in Thompson’s career with just one fight remaining on his current Bodog contract before he reaches free agent status.

Unfairly labeled with the title of journeyman earlier in his career, Thompson finds himself set to hit the open market on the heels of a nine fight winning streak. His stock has risen so much over the course of the last year that his phone is already ringing even though he owes one more fight to Bodog.

We were able to catch up with Thompson and talk to him about his upcoming bout vs. Troyer, his status with Bodog, his future after February 1, his running feud with former BodogFIGHT welterweight champion Eddie Alvarez, and much more during an exclusive interview that was conducted recently.

Sam Caplan: Can you update everyone on your current contract status with Bodog?

Nick Thompson: I have one fight left, that will be February 1. [Bodog] has made me an interesting offer to re-sign, although so has HCF in Canada, World Victory Road in Japan, and the UFC came in with a late offer that was interesting. Right now I’m weighing different options and I’ll figure that out after my fight.

Sam Caplan: When the UFC approached you did they give you a potential debut date and an offer of a possible opponent?

Nick Thompson: They actually called me about the [Jon] Fitch fight but they wanted me to sign right away and I can’t sign anything until February 2. I would have taken it because to fight Jon Fitch on the main card (at UFC 82) is a huge opportunity but I wasn’t able to take it, unfortunately.

Sam Caplan: Have you been contacted by EliteXC, M-1 Global, or the IFL?

Nick Thompson: I talked to the IFL a long time ago, they wanted me to fill-in and substitute for one or two different fights but I haven’t heard anything from them since. Frankly, I don’t know with what they’re paying that they could afford me. I talked to EliteXC and they were interested in doing something up until the concrete was laid down. When they heard the numbers of another organization, they were a little less interested.

Sam Caplan: You’re scheduled to defend the BodogFIGHT welterweight title vs. John Troyer a day before UFC 81 in Las Vegas on Feb. 1. What do you know about Troyer?

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REMAINDER OF THE INTERVIEW, INCLUDING NICK’S THOUGHTS ON BROCK LESNAR’S STANDUP, HIS RESPONSE TO COMMENTS EDDIE ALVAREZ MADE ABOUT HIM DURING A CBSSPORTS.COM INTERVIEW, AND MORE ON SAM CAPLAN’S PROELITE.COM BLOG