It’s somewhat surprising when you meet a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter and their nickname matches with everything you come to learn about them. James ‘The Colossus’ Thompson is the embodiment of colossal; from his thickly muscled, large frame to his willingness in sharing his massive heart.
Sitting rather primly in a chair positioned at the edge of the media room, James Thompson answered questions about his upcoming bout with Bobby Lashley, for Bellator’s Vengeance card in St. Louis Missouri, with good cheer and little fan fare.
Due to his giant frame, his skill at demolishing other heavyweight fighters in the cage, and his scrappy personality displayed in post fight interviews, one might expect to hear him speaking in loud tones while answering questions outrageously to get a laugh. Nothing could be more wrong than to assign a jock personality to Thompson.
He was soft spoken and thoughtful in his replies, self deprecating when expounding on why he was wearing a T-shirt that said Fight For The Forgotten, a charity founded by fellow fighter Justin Wren, and how much learning about the disadvantages faced by others a continent away touched him.
What new match ups in Bellator’s heavyweight division are you hoping to see?
JT: Obviously I got Kimbo [Kevin ‘Kimbo Slice’ Ferguson], we’ve got history. I want to fight Kimbo, we’ve got some unfinished business there. I’m waiting to see what happens with the heavyweight title, see what’s happening with [Vitaly] Minakov.
No one really knows what’s happening with him, when he’s coming back. Are they going to put a tournament on? Everyone is on tenterhooks waiting.
I’ve got a big fight coming up Friday. I’ve got to get that sorted and I’ll be looking for Kimbo after.
Fighting is a very selfish sport, it has to be all consuming. It takes everything you have.”- James Thompson
Would you be willing to participate in a heavyweight tournament?
JT: Yeah! I’m willing to do anything, I’m here to get the title. I’m not afraid to fight anyone. It’s just a case of seeing how the land lays and how I can fit into that.
I’m going to do my best. It all comes down to winning fights at the end of the day. There’s no kind of massive science. So I need to win this fight to start it off.
An entertaining win.
JT: An entertaining win is always good. When I was going through a terrible streak of losses in my career I was still getting calls, still getting paid decent money to fight, because I’m entertaining. And because I go out there to fight and I give it 110%. Whatever you want to say about me, can’t say that [it’s boring].
Like I say, even through my darkest periods, I’ve still been able to get fights and still been about. Now it been a while and it’s been great. I don’t want to sound too blowhard about it, but that kind of goes with the way I fight. I always want to win entertainingly, give the fans what they want.
Some fantastic win.
JT: (Laughing) Sometimes. If it’s a simple win I’ll take that as well.
You’re wearing a Fight For The Forgotten shirt, what is that to you?
JT: It’s for Justin Wren who wrote a book about the Pygmies in the Congo. He went over there to help and saw they’re in desperate need. I read his book and it really touched me, it really made me think a lot.
Fighting is very important to me [but] as I’m getting older, obviously I’ve got a family now and you start looking at things in different ways. Fighting will always be important to me, MMA will always be important to me, but you start to see the bigger picture with life.
When I read the book and talked to Justin and seen what he actually went through, the difference he made for the Pygmies in the Congo, it puts your difficulties, your worries throughout the day, into perspective.
You really see that you haven’t got room to feel sorry for yourself or any of that sort. I wanted to do a little bit. Wear the T-shirt and get some people like you to ask me questions, report about it, (laughingly shakes a fist in the air as a rallying sign). Lets make the world a better place!
Is that the extent of it? Basically doing promotion for Fight For The Forgotten?
JT: Yeah for the moment. I want to do- gosh this is going to sound like I’m an American beauty queen. (Pantomimes posing for the camera) I want world peace! That is my goal!
Fighting is a very selfish sport, it has to be all consuming. It takes everything you have. Now that I’m getting older and I see someone like Justin, who is also doing MMA and who is also fighting, I see what he’s done by making a difference. It’s inspired me to think about what I can do.
That’s the powerful thing about it, isn’t it? Him writing his book and inspiring people [with] the actions he’s done. If I can lend to that a little bit, great. And then who knows what the future holds with those kinds of things. It’s a pleasure.
James ‘The Colossus’ Thompson will compete against Bobby Lashley in the main event of Bellator Vengeance on November 6, 2015 at the Scott Trade Arena in St. Louis Missouri. The card will also air live on Spike TV. Please follow James on Facebook and Twitter.