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By Mike Johnson on 4/5/2021 12:12 PM

Church First Films, Deep C Digital, and  Stonecutter Media LTD. announced today that the riveting new MMA film VICTORY BY SUBMISSION will be releasing on demand nationwide on cable, satellite, and telco providers  April 6, 2021 featuring former Strikeforce lightweight  champion and UFC and Bellator fighter Josh Thomson and former Strikeforce fighter Casey Olson, the film chronicles the trials and tribulations of up-and-coming MMA fighter Tommy Hendricks as he struggles in his commitments to his career, his family, and his calling.   Mike Johndon sat down with Josh Thomson to discuss the film, his MMA career, MMA's relationship to its cousin professonal wrestling, his work today with BELLATOR and more.

Mike Johnson: Hey everybody, it's Mike Johnson back in the audio section of The world of mixed martial arts and the world of professional wrestling are cousins, branches from the same tree, and one thing that professional wrestling has in common with the martial arts world is that talents and competitive fighters from each of those realms have branched off into the acting world. I'm very happy to be sitting down with Josh Thomson, who has fought over the course of his career for UFC and Strikeforce, he's fought for Bellator as well. He's going to be one of the stars of the brand new film "Victory By Submission" that's coming out on demand on every platform you can imagine. It is a film that looks at the trials and tribulations of an up and coming MMA fighter, Tommy Hendrix. as he tries to find his way in the fighting world, and his struggles in mixed martial arts, his career, his family. This fictional film was written and directed by Alan Autry, who worked on "In The Heat of the Night," features a number of people from the MMA world, as well as names like Eric Roberts, Lee Majors, Fred Williamson. I'm very happy to be sitting down with Josh to talk about the film, his career and maybe some of his friends that are in the professional wrestling world. So first of all, sir - I know you're on a tour bus right now, where the heck are you going?

Josh Thomson: So I actually came down to LA to do a meeting, and one of my cousins owns a tour bus company, so he was like, "Hey if you're gonna be down this way, why don't we all just jump on a bus, me and a couple of buddies were talking about going to Tahoe for the weekend," and I was like hey, let's do it. They said, "We'll drop you back off in the Bay Area where you live after a week of gambling - March Madness, hanging out," and I was like, "Hey man, sign me up, sign me up."

Mike Johnson: After the year we've all had, getting out a tour bus and having some fun sounds awesome to everybody.

Josh Thomson: Getting out of the house sounds fun.

Mike Johnson: Amen. So let's talk about this film, "Victory By Submission". You've been around the fighting game for a long time - how did you end up involved with the project?

Josh Thomson: Alan is a good friend of my sports agent, so he had reached out to him in the Fresno area and was like, "I'm looking for someone to be a co-star to my lead guy there, and he needs a little acting experience". I had met Alan a couple of times and we had hit it off, so he was like, "Would Josh be interested in doing it?" I had done some action films before, so he reached out to me and asked if I'd like to be a part of this film, so I was like "Of course, I'd love to be part of this film." He told me about the script and what the idea was, and then 6 months had went by and I hadn't heard anything from Alan, then I heard from him and he was like, "We started filming, we're getting to your part, would you be available?" and I was like "Yeah." So we spent about 2 and a half / 3 weeks filming my section of the movie. I hadn't heard anything after, there was supposed to be a release from before and now we're back on track. He was able to kind of work with a couple of companies to get this deal going and here it is now. 

Mike Johnson: So the story of the film is Tommy Hendrix trying to make his way in the MMA world and kinda balance his life and everything else that's going on in the world, his faith in some ways. Autry has said in discussion about the film that this is what it's like for the fighters as they're trying to make their way to a Bellator, a UFC, to a major platform. You, like everyone else, have gone through that process. When you read the script and filmed your scenes, how much of the experiences that you saw Tommy have in the film reflected things that you and your fellow fighters have gone through?

Josh Thomson: The movie's reflective upon you coming up as a young fighter trying to find your way to a big promotion. You cross paths with a lot of scumbag promoters, people that are willing to let you fight and try to take your money. I've been in events where I've shown up to fight where I was in the main event at a fairgrounds before I got into Bellator, Strikeforce, UFC, those promotions. I've been in those events where the promoter is like, "There's 600 people there," and it's like, OK how are you gonna afford to pay me? You literally have to tell them, "You pay me first or I don't fight." That's the kind of representation in the beginning days of MMA, that's how it was - you would show up and you would fight and the promoter would leave before it was time to pay the fighters, because he knew he didn't make enough money to pay the fighters. So when it came down to that, the story was very true. You're dealing with promoters that are not always loyal...they're criminals, a lot of them are criminals. But until you got to the bigger shows, that's where you start realizing how you were supposed to be taken care of as a fighter. So when you're talking about the movie and growing up in relation to the sport, it's very true to form.

Mike Johnson: In a lot of ways, it's not that unlike independent wrestling promoters. We hear stories like that all the time, with wrestlers having to make sure they get all their money before they perform, or promoters dipping off into the middle of the night without having paid anybody. We hear those stories all the time, so it's really not all that different on that sort of level. 

Josh Thomson: I've heard the same thing. I've talked to a lot of friends that I have that have worked in the pro wrestling circuit in the lower promotions and they said the same thing. You literally have to track down the promoter and have them pay half your money up front, and after you compete they go ahead and pay you the rest of the money, and you still have to track them down for that second half. 

Mike Johnson: You starred in "Fist of the Dragon". Roger Corman, one of the most legendary directors in terms of science fiction, and also being very smart in making the most out of the least when it comes to producing his films. What were your experiences like working with him? What was he like?

Josh Thomson: Roger's a great guy. I actually tried to talk myself out of doing the film and I'm super grateful that he talked me into doing it. When we had started talking, he had called me the day before Christmas Eve and said, "Hey, I had an actor that was supposed to be my lead for a film that I'm doing called "Fist of the Dragon." He decided that he didn't want to do it, he pulled out of the movie, and I would like you to read for me. I got your number from your agent and Scott Coker," who is now the promoter for Bellator. "Would you be interested in doing a film for me? I would need you to read for me tomorrow." I'm like, "Yeah that's not gonna happen. I've got family in town." I tried to talk myself out of it, and he very politely was like, "Just read for me and let's just talk. I'll work around your schedule," and he kinda talked me into doing it and I'm super grateful - first that he considered, second that he was willing to work with me, I know he was probably in a hot spot since his lead actor had pulled out, but he was actually so easy to work with and I didn't even realize how big of a person he was in the movie industry until after he had already casted me for the role and I started doing research on it and people started talking to me about it. I showed up in China literally the day after New Year's Eve, within a week and a half / 2 weeks later to do the movie and people are like, "Wow, this is incredible that you're able to work with Roger." I didn't understand the importance of it all until that had happened and did some research and realized how important he was in the industry - what he's done and what he's created. He had called me throughout the film, was just continuously calling me saying, "Hey are you OK? Is everything going the way you would like? Is there anything we can do to make sure you're happy?" He was fabulous to work with and he was probably one of the nicest people I've ever met.

Mike Johnson: So in "Victory By Submission" you're going to appear in the film with Casey Olsen, another fellow Strikeforce alumni. What can fans expect from your character in the film and how big of a role do you have? The lead is the Tommy Hendricks character but what can we expect when we see you in the film?

Josh Thomson: I play the bigger brother's almost a Pat Tillman kind of story, I play the bigger brother. I actually stop fighting to go to the military and get killed in combat, and my younger brother Tommy is continuously reminded of the fact that he's doing it because he wants to kind of like follow in my footsteps. He's coming across all the sh**ty promoters and all of the things that I had already done and gone through to become a world champion. So he's realizing all the things that I've done - I gave that all up to go fight for our country, but he's coming to terms with the fact that he's having to deal with...people are questioning his faith because he's a fighter, and he's questioning him himself as a person, if this is really his way in life. He actually talks to me a lot through things, I'm there to help guide him in what is best for him as well as his God. There's a lot of things that fighters deal with. There was a fighter, I wanna say his name was Michael McDonald, he was a very Christian-based person and they have very strong beliefs in God and I think that they probably went through the same type of feelings of, I'm doing harm to somebody but it is also supporting my family, and it is a sport, so I think certain fighters have gone through that same type of feeling that Tommy was going through, as well as try to live up to the reputation that I had of being a world champion...can he do what I did and having to deal with all these promoters that don't have your best interest at heart. So that's kind of the role that I play in the movie - he calls on me and God to help him get through these moments in tough times and try to find his way through a sport that's just riddled with corruption until he gets to the top level of being world champion.

Mike Johnson: So in pro wrestling there's often a tug of war between the promotion that you work for full time and the pro wrestler - both in terms of creativity and how happy you are behind the scenes. In MMA it's a different world because how well you do competitively lands you wherever you are on that roster in terms of the rankings, but how much of that tug of war that we're gonna see in the film is the day to day real life version of what MMA fighters go through with the different promotions, even though they have their fight teams and their respective managers to kinda act as their agent in a lot of ways and be their voice. For the fighters, how much of a tug of war is it between the promoters and them before they even have to go in the ring?

Josh Thomson: Well, I think for fighting it’s a little different than pro wrestling. Pro wrestling, obviously a lot of the events are a little more scripted and the outcome is determined between the pro wrestler and promoter and the organization beforehand. So that’s a tough pill to swallow if you’re the person who you know if gonna lose going into competing for the world title. In MMA, it’s the matter of getting to the world title – you winning it is completely separate from you getting a chance to fight for the world title. What I mean by that is, fighters will sometimes get in their own way by not taking a fight. Instead of just saying you’re ranked number 1 or number 2, and you decide to pass until you get your title shot, sometimes they will have someone who is ranked number 3 or number 4 and they will jump that number 2 person to fight for the title because you’ve given them such a hard time on fighting for the belt or they wanted you to fight somebody else or the delay for fighting for the title was so long that you wanted to wait for the title, the promotion is like, “Look, we want you to fight somebody else and you’re not willing to fight somebody else, you’re not doing us a favor so why should we do you a favor?” The lead up is, the harder you are to deal with as somebody who is not a champion, you’re gonna be even more difficult to deal with as a champion. So if that’s how a promotion looks at it, that kind of skews how they handle the situation. So as a fighter, I’ve said this for years, winning solves everything. Just keep fighting, keep winning and then you’ll get to the top. So in terms of how it translates from a movie to this, it’s very accurate, but you just have to continue to fight and continue to win, and that will get you to where you destination is, which is becoming the world champion.

Mike Johnson: So you made your UFC debut at UFC 44, not to date you or me, we’re about the same age.

Josh Thomson: [laughs]

Mike Johnson: You beat Gerald Strebendt by knockout, it was very quick, first round. So here’s a question I’ve always wanted to ask an MMA fighter – UFC even then was the pinnacle of the most you might be able to earn and the biggest platform you could have at that point. Is the adrenaline rush better heading to the ring for that fight or after you’ve won that fight? There’s gotta be a lot of nervousness and anticipation before you even step into the octagon and the cage door closes. What’s the adrenaline rush heading down the aisle and what’s it like coming back out and which is a bigger rush?

Josh Thomson: The adrenaline rush before the fight is the whole week of the fight, because there’s the lead up – the press conference is on Wednesday, weigh-in is on Thursday, Friday you make weight and you have the media and the weigh-in, and then Saturday you fight. It’s that whole week leading up…there’s a lot of adrenaline. The adrenaline rush is more so when you win but it’s shorter term. You win, you’re satisfied, you move on. The adrenaline rush previously is like 3 or 4 days in a row, you’re up and down and up and down, but nothing beats the adrenaline rush as much as being in the fight – nothing. Actually doing the thing is what it is. It’s like when you’re fighting, nothing beats that, because there’s ups and down throughout the fight. I start off, I get on top, I drop you, winning the fight, you come back in the second round, you take me down, you control me…you’re having to deal with the adversity the whole fight, and that to me is the most telling way of how you can handle adversity throughout your life. It was one of those things that helped shape me through anything, like anything that I look at it, it’s not as important, it’s not a big deal, I can get through this, it’s not a big deal. If you lose 20 grand, no big deal, I can find ways to make another 20 grand. If you fell down and tore your knee out – no big deal, within 6 months I’ll be walking again, I’ll be back on track, and we’ll get back to it. It helped me deal with the adversity in a fight, up and down, knowing that you can get through anything is so important and so key for any person, and until you’ve ever fought or competed in an individual one on one sport, I don’t think anyone will ever understand that. It’s one thing to compete in team sports but to actually compete in one on one sports, at the level that MMA athletes are competing at, where you get to the Bellator’s and the UFC’s, and all those other organizations that are considered the top organizations in the world, once you get to that level, once you can deal with that type of adversity, it’s absolutely insane. You know when you walk out of that cage that you can deal with any type of adversity throughout your life. It doesn’t matter what is handed to you, you can do it. So I think that’s a key component in doing individual sports, especially fighting. 

Mike Johnson: So you made the decision to retire at the beginning of last year and you’re doing analyst work now for Bellator. What made you decide to try out the analyst stuff and how different is your day to day work? In terms of preparing for events and broadcasts, what’s that like compared to being mentally ready to step into the cage?

Josh Thomson: The preparation is obviously different – one is more physical and the other is more making sure that you know the history of the athletes that you’re going to represent throughout their fight. When I was fighting, I wanted the analysts to say great things about me, so that’s your job now as an analyst. Whether you like them or not, you have to put your own feelings for people aside and you have to understand that there are fighters that are still fighting that I used to compete against or that I’ve been around the circuit with, that I didn’t get along with. You have to learn to put all those feelings aside and speak highly of them as if they are the next world champion, because they may potentially be the next world champion. You need to put your own feelings, your own experiences…not even your own experiences, your own feelings of other people aside. You can’t continue to say, “Oh if it was me, I would have done this.” Well, that person is not you, and their body may not function the way your body does, or their style of fighting is not the way that you would fight. So you have to learn to put your own feelings, your own emotions aside. 

How I got into being an analyst was Scott Coker, he’s the promoter for Bellator, he was also my protomer for Strikeforce, who also helped promote me through Showtime and CBS, and that’s where Bellator is now, on April 2nd we’ll have an event there as well. So I got pulled into it by him. I had done some cageside analyst work for him while I was the Strikeforce Champion for him through his promotion and so when the time came and I decided that I was getting closer to retirement, he asked me if this is something that I would like to do, would I like to audition for the position. I said, “Of course, I would love to.” I loved doing it back in the day and now knowing that I’m retired and that I’m able to take all of my knowledge of the sport and try to bring it to the homes of every American that’s willing to watch on Showtime and CBS, it gives me another focus, and the focus is to educate all the fans at home and people that have never really watched the sport. It gives me another opportunity to get people interested in the sport and knowing that I can help resonate that is very important to me. 

Mike Johnson: A few years before you retired, you were one of the few fighters to outstrike Nate Diaz on one of the UFC on Fox specials – you ended up getting the Knockout of the Night award and the bonus that night. When you think of that little piece of UFC history, how prideful is that for you?

Josh Thomson: It was good. It was my first fight back in the UFC after becoming the Strikeforce champion, I fought in PRIDE and in DREAM, which are organizations in Japan, which are two very huge and large promotions. After I had left the UFC in 2003/2004, to go back to the UFC in 2012 and end up getting a knockout over Nate Diaz, who had just fought for the UFC World Title, it was good. It was eye-opening for the world to understand that I was one of the best lightweights ever to exist, even though people already knew it, it was more on a big platform. Being on Fox and for people to understand that I was one of the best lightweights to ever walk the face of the earth, and not just at that time, but for over a generation, over a decade I was already one of the best lightweights in the world and people saw it, they started to understand it and that was something that catapulted my career, that people saw that I was obviously one of the best.

Mike Johnson: When we talk about Strikeforce, we talk about a company that really held UFC’s feet to the fire for sometime and provided a good alternative for MMA fighters to go to, especially once PRIDE kinda went the way of the dinosaur. Bellator is kind of in that position now – in  your mind, how important is it, especially given the way your career went and the path you took, for there to be an alternative company that is competitive to UFC and provide another outlet for fighters?

Josh Thomson: It’s always important for there to be an alternative in any sport. There’s basketball in Russia, there’s basketball in European markets, there’s basketball in other countries. Football is kind of the only one that doesn’t have competition outside of the CFL, there’s Major League Baseball and then there’s like the farmer’s league, they have farmer’s leagues to help build you up and get you to the pros. In terms of MMA, it’s very important. It’s very important for fighters to understand that if they can’t make it to the bigger shows, they have other alternatives. Or if they don’t like the bigger show, the way that they’re being treated by the bigger show, they have somewhere else to go. I’ve said this forever – even though I work for Bellator and I would love to have all the best fighters in Bellator, it’s best to have a free market agency so the promotion can acquire the fighters that they would really like to have fight in their organization, because let’s just say in the heavyweight division, Bellator has the better market and if you want to acquire the better fighters from another promotion, you should be able to establish that through a free market agency. It’s very important when you have competition because not all the fighters will ever be in one promotion – it is very rare and it has never happened. There are fighters now fighting for one championship that are two of the best fighters in the world – they’re not fighting in UFC and they’re not fighting in Bellator. There’s countless fighters in Bellator that are not fighting in the UFC, there’s countless fighters in UFC that wouldn’t make it in any other promotions, they would get smashed by some of the top guys there. So all those things being said, it’s nice because it drives up the price of a fighter, to the point where they can actually live and take care of their family, create a lifestyle that they can live, 10 / 15 maybe 20 years, if they are responsible with their body. 

Mike Johnson: So there’s been a couple of Bellator fighters who were professional wrestlers before Bellator and in some cases, after Bellator – Bobby Lashley, who is now the WWE Champion. You’ve crossed paths with him in the past in Bellator when he was there. Thoughts on Lashley, his time in MMA and your friendship with him.

Josh Thomson: Bobby Lashley is an absolutely amazing person, he’s one of the nicest guys to hang out with. If you are a fan, probably one of the most presentable people…you can walk up and talk to him, he’s a great person. I’ve been friends with Bobby Lashley almost 16 / 17 years. I’m a big fan, I’ve known him since he was wrestling, he was one of the Olympic alternates, he was trying for the Olympic team, and he is just a phenomenal person. As far as his WWE wrestling and his wrestling credentials, Bellator fighting and MMA fighting all together, his MMA fighting in general, the sport’s grown so much that his wrestling was very key when he was young and coming up.  As time went out, he really wanted to use his wrestling to his advantage so he decided to go the WWE route. 

He wrestled at 215 / 211, but when you saw him in person, you thought he was 240 / 250, but he really just walked around 216 / 218, but he was just built like a Greek god. So when he decided to go the WWE route, we were like, it just kinda made sense. We had the same sports agent when he first started and they helped get him into the WWE wrestling position and I gotta tell you, it’s probably been the best thing he’s ever done. He’s by far just so charismatic, such a great guy, that smile…I know friends that have paid 15 / 16 thousand dollars for smiles like that, and his is just natural, so he’s been blessed. He’s a great person and a phenomenal WWE wrestler as well, and I wanna congratulate him on winning the title, I haven’t talked to him since he won the title but congratulations to him as well. 

Jake Hager – he’s a Bellator fighter now, he wrestles as well, he’s another one who has a great smile as well. A phenomenal person, fun to be around, I’ve done a lot of USO tours with him and we’ve done a lot of military stuff, helping to teach the military some takedowns, some wrestling, as well as some combative stuff and things that may help our military to make sure that they stay safe. He is just a people person and a phenomenal person. I gotta tell you man, WWE really lucked out when they got both these guys – Jake Hager and Bobby Lashley.

Mike Johnson: So you’re doing analyst work for Bellator now, the film “Victory by Submission” gives you a chance to show your acting skills again – do you want to do more acting? Is that something you want to actively pursue or is it like hey if something comes along I’m happy to do it, but I wanna focus on Bellator? Where do you see yourself in terms of the acting game?

Josh Thomson: Acting is one of those things where it needs to fall in my lap. I'm not opposed to doing it, I would love to do it, I take it very seriously. When Roger called me, I reached out to an acting coach who I had never met, didn't know anything about and I reached out to her and she started working with me for the two weeks I had leading up to the film. When I did "Victory by Submission" I had also hired an acting coach for the two weeks leading up to that film to kinda help me get my feet underneath me a little bit and rehearse lines and really focus on it. I take things very seriously when they are presented to me so it's one of those things where I just know that I enjoyed it and liked it and I wanted to say I did it and I've done it and I would love to do it again, but I'm not gonna actively pursue it but I'm not opposed to doing it as well. Give me a little bit of time and I know I can give you my best effort and put my best foot forward. In terms of other things, I mean I own two gyms, I own a clothing line, I work for Bellator as an analyst, I do a podcast called "Weighing In" with the number one ref in the world, "Big" John McCarthy, we're on every platform, YouTube and every other platform as well. So my main focus in my gym and working for Bellator being an analyst for Showtime and CBS and doing my podcast. My podcast has taken off and has done really well, so those are my main focuses, but am I opposed to doing more acting? Absolutely not, I would love to.

Mike Johnson: All right, I got two more questions and then we're gonna let you get out of here. I thank you so much for your time. You were the Strikeforce Lightweight Champion, a big moment in your life and a big moment in your career. What do you think when you look back on the legacy of Strikeforce the organization? How should fans remember it and how it should be thought of in the annals of MMA history?

Josh Thomson: In terms of Strikeforce, the fights represented what the fans wanted to see. They were fights that were the most talked about. I'll give you an example - you guys wanna watch the best one round fight I think in all of MMA history, go to the Nick Diaz and Paul Daley fight. That fight was still a Strikeforce fight, but it was already made before the UFC had bought Strikeforce, Scott Coker put that fight together and it was the first fight that UFC was kinda taking over the reigns from Strikeforce. That fight right there is probably one of the most exciting fights in Strikeforce history, and if you guys wanna go back and watch my second fight, even though I lost, but it's the second fight with myself and Gilbert Melendez, we had fought three times in a trilogy fight. The first fight I walked away and beat him for the title, but the second fight he walked away and beat me for the title. But that second fight was probably one of the most action-packed fights from beginning to end in Strikeforce history, I think in all of MMA history, we got voted one of the best trilogies in all of MMA history, we fell short, I think we were in second place behind Dan Henderson and Shogun Rua, but we should have beat them. They laid on each other for a little bit, we won, we should have won [laughs]. But Gil Melendez and I, we were nemesis, we trained together before we ever fought, we understood each other and the fights were better because of that. So if you are an MMA fan and you wanna remember what Strikeforce history was all about, I would go and say look at those two fights - the best one round fight was Nick Diaz versus Paul Daley and the best five round fight you will probably ever see in your life was Josh Thomson / Gilbert Melendez II. Those fights will make Strikeforce memorable for everyone. 

Mike Johnson: Eric Roberts is in this film - did you get a chance to act with him at all? I don't know if you had any scenes with him but when I think of MMA believe it or not, the old 80s film "Best of the Best" starring him is one of the first things that I think about when I think about MMA competitions. I was curious if you got to hang out with him and wean some acting expertise from him cause he's been in everything you can think of in all sorts of genres over the years.

Josh Thomson: Yeah he was...I agree with you, the very first thing I think of when I think of a movie with him in it is "Best of the Best." I was not...we were never on set together, we were never in the same room together, I never really had a chance to interact with him, I wish I would have been able to, would have loved to have met him and worked side by side with him but our scenes never came across each other so I never had a chance to meet him. But yeah you're right, one of my favorite films is "Best of the Best" when I was younger. I loved it - I watched it over and over and over again and would have loved to have met him.

Mike Johnson: To this day I can hear him screaming, "Coach, he's gonna kill him! He's gonna kill him!" Well, perhaps if there's a "Victory By Submission 2" you guys can share a scene but before we get there, "Victory By Submission" is gonna come out On Demand April 6th. It's gonna be on all the cable and satellite platforms - DISH Network, Verizon Fios, DirecTV, you name it, it's gonna be there featuring our guest Josh Thomson. So sir before we go, I wanna say thank you and the last question - why should people go out of their way to make sure they're watching "Victory By Submission" when it starts popping up and is available for On Demand viewing?

Josh Thomson: Well, what I want people to understand is that it's a different take on what fighters go through, as well as how fighters deal with their faith, especially being a pro athlete that is being combative. You're doing harm to somebody else and dealing with your faith is a very important thing. Now I understand that this is a faith-based movie, but people should also understand that there is a lot of action in this movie, but there is a great story behind it as well. A lot of these fighters that you see today have had to deal with this and try to find something that drives them and become the best at whatever it is that they're doing, especially being a fighter. If you look at it as research of the top fighters in the world that have done this, it's very similar to a lot of top fighters. I lost my dad at a very young age and was able to win a world title after I lost my dad, and it's something I always wish he was a part of. Now Tommy lost his brother and me being his brother in the film so he is going through somewhat similar what I went through losing my father. People when they're watching this film, take a look at it and understand that a lot of these pro fighters are going through situations similar to this or have gone through situations similar to this to get where they are now. It's not all just glitz and glamour like you see on TV, it's all the hardship and all the pain that they've gone through to get there to help motivate and drive them to be where they are today, it's something to be appreciated as a fan. That's kinda what I look at it as. 

Mike Johnson: All right. Well I wanna say thank you for sitting down and talking to us about the film. We look forward to seeing "Victory By Submission" when it comes out in April. For those who don't know, you can follow Josh on Twitter @TheRealPunk and you can find out all the information on Knoxx Gym and Knoxx Clothing. For Knoxx Gym you can check out and sir, before we go, if you've got any message for anybody that you'd like to send out to the fans who have followed you through the course of your career and your life who are listening to this, who are gonna look forward to the film and look forward to seeing you on Bellator on future broadcasts, I'd like to give you that forum to kinda close this out.

Josh Thomson: Yeah do me a big favor and go to my YouTube channel with "Big" John McCarthy, we do a podcast covering all of MMA and sometimes boxing as well. It's called "Weighing In" and check us out there. We would love you guys to follow us and subscribe to us. We appreciate you guys, thanks.

Mike Johnson: All right everybody. So we'll put a link to that YouTube channel under this interview as well. You can check out "Victory By Submission" on demand this April 6th from Church First Films, Deep C Digital and Stonecutter Media and it's gonna be available on all satellite, telco and cable providers - not available on film, not available on DVD - on demand on all those platforms. You can check it out and check out the film featuring our guest at this time Josh Thomson, as well as Casey Olson from Strikeforce and Brett Prieto, Rachel Hendrix, Alan Autry, Lee Majors, Eric Roberts and Fred Williamson. Hell of a cast, hell of a unique, eclectic group there, and you can check it out, "Victory By Submission." We look forward to talking to all of you soon on and until next time, I'm Mike Johnson. Josh - thank you for being so giving with your time. We look forward to talking to you again down the line if the constellations align and we wish you nothing but the best in all of your exploits.

Josh Thomson: Thank you my man, talk to you later buddy.