Things have been quiet for heavyweight behemoth James Thompson, but he wouldn't have had it any other way, the break has given him a rare opportunity for introspection.
"I had some time off after the last fight to get my head together, personal problems if you will, and I feel that now things are in place in myself and I can really push forward. Making the full-time move to London Shootfighters for training is really paying dividends," he explained to MMAWeekly.com.
Thompson has always been one of those fighters that appeared to be cursed. He has had some meteoric fights in his time, with excellent results, but sometimes he just can't catch a break. Case in point being the Kimbo Slice fight. He did everything that he could to put his opponent away, and arguably, the fight should have been stopped under the lack of intelligent defense or improving position rule -- take your pick. Still, the end result was a bitter pill to swallow.
"I made mistakes in my training before that fight. I wasn't listening to people properly and stuff like that carried over into the bout, but with the guys here pulling me up on all my mistakes, I am able to learn from them. The only way I am going to improve is the hard way through trial and error," offered Thompson.
So with his body and mind working in sync, who is next on the cards for "The Colossus?"
"I will most likely be fighting Neil Grove here in the U.K. on the Ultimate Challenge show in September. It's a fight I specifically asked for because I feel that I have something to prove to myself."
For those that weren't witness to their first encounter. Grove came in on two days notice as an unknown fighter with a beginners record. Ten seconds later and Thompson was flat out on the canvas asleep.
Thompson feels that things will be different next time, "That was the first time I had been knocked out cold like that and it came as a shock, but I am confident that this time I know what I am in for and how to deal with things. This isn't a slur on Neil Grove, he beat me fair and square, but this is about setting personal goals and achievements for myself."
U.K. fights have hung around Thompson like an albatross, but it is something that he feels he needs to crack. Whilst still being in demand on the international stage, he loves to fight at home, hence, the booking of the fight. Win or lose, he is likely to find a requirement for his services over at Strikeforce soon enough.
"I was offered King Mo (Lawal) a while back for them and it is a fight that I feel would suit me given his style and wrestling ability, but it hasn't quite come to fruition yet. Strikeforce are a really switched on promotion and are comfortable with me fighting in other places, so once I have the ring rust blasted off, we should be looking at that fight soon enough," he concludes.