Photo by Paul Demko
Nick Thompson was so inexperienced when he first started fighting that he would get knocked out on a regular basis, and fall asleep like a strange breed of goat that faints when it gets scared. When the welterweight found his groove, “The Fainting Goat” started turning the tables on his opponents and his nom de guerre became simply “The Goat.” Now, Thompson is the current Bodog Fight welterweight champion, and is set to do battle against John Troyer on February 1st in Las Vegas.
Those who have followed The Goat’s career know what a unique character he is — and that he has the tools to be one of the top ten welterweights in the world. He’s currently riding a nine-fight win streak and is 17-1 in his last 18 fights. A tireless athlete, Thompson once fought 27 fights in two years. Like many other up-and-coming fighters, Thompson needed to fight monthly in order to pay the bills, but as his profile has risen, he’s been able to take the time to properly train and recover when he fights.
CagePotato: You’ve got quite a win streak going right now. Has the UFC or any other organizations made offers to lure you away from Bodog Fight?
Nick Thompson: I’ve spoken to several organizations. February 1st is the last fight on my exclusive contract with Bodog. They’ve made me a nice offer, but the UFC, HCF, and World Victory Road have all made intriguing offers as well.
Do you feel like you’ve accomplished everything there is to accomplish in Bodog?
If they don’t get some more talent, yes.
The average fight fan may be unfamiliar with the shadowy world of Bodog Fight. Do you think Calvin Ayre’s “situation” of not being able to hang in the US hurts the organization’s ability to break open the US market?
No. Had Bodog continued to acquire top talent, they would have made a dent. Unfortunately, Bodog has changed their model for the time being. I really like a lot of the people there and they treat me really well as far as pay and staying at nice hotels. On the flip side, they are not used to running fights. They don’t understand that I need 3 months of notice in order to train.
Do you feel like you’re fighting in obscurity because of their approach?
How do you think you match-up with John Troyer?
I don’t really know because he hasn’t fought any high-caliber fighters. He is big and has looked impressive en route to becoming the undefeated Hook n’ Shoot 185-pound champion. All I can tell you is that I am not taking him lightly.
What has been your most disappointing loss?
The loss to Yushin Okami. I was on top, hurt myself and was forced to tap out. All of my other losses are legit. The other guys were better than me at the time.
We know you used to love watching Sean Sherk fight. Did the steroids scandal taint your view of him?
No. I honestly believe he didn’t intentionally take anything. People that don’t know him or our camp have no reason to believe him or me — and I probably wouldn’t believe him if I was your average fight fan. But from knowing Sean and knowing the details of his case, I believe him.
Who do you think is the best welterweight in the world right now?
You once walked to the ring smoking a cigarette. Were you just jonesing for a smoke or was that just for the hell of it?
It was a joke. I don’t smoke. I thought it would be funny but it really affected me more than I thought it would. No more of that.
How many more years do you feel you have left in you as a fighter?
Right now I feel like I have 10 or more years left in me, but that can change in a matter of seconds. It just takes one wrong move to tear your knee. Not to mention, I’ll have my jurist doctorate after one more semester at the University of Minnesota, so I don’t have to fight. I fight because I love it. The day when that’s no longer the case, I’m gone.
So are you just getting your law degree for bragging rights?
I planned on practicing law when I first started fighting. Then two years in, I started getting to a point where it was feasible to fight for a living. I would hate to have spent $60,000 and have nothing to show for it, so I figured I might as well spend the extra $30,000 and be a learned man.
What was the last movie that made you cry?
Philadelphia gets me every time.
Thanks so much, and good luck on February 1st!
Thank you! I’d also like to thank my wife, my teammates, American Fighter, Gamma-O, TapouT and Hypoxico Altitude Systems.