SAN JOSE, Calif. --Bobby Green got the biggest win of his career less than two months after his brother's murder.
An emotional Green came to the ring wearing his brother's name on his hoodie and fell to his knees when his own name was announced as winner. Green beat Josh Thomson by a very close split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) on Saturday at UFC Fight Night: Lawler vs. Brown at SAP Center.
Green (23-5) wasn't even supposed to be in this fight. He stepped in less than two weeks ago when Thomson's original opponent, Michael Johnson, was injured. Green was scheduled to face Abel Trujillo next month. Thomson came in ranked No. 3 among UFC lightweight contenders, while Green was No. 13.
On Saturday, all three rounds were extremely close -- all of them could have gone either way. Ever the entertainer, Green did a lot of talking, a lot of laughing and a little clowning. He controlled the cage and walked Thomson down for much of the fight, though Thomson was countering and throwing combinations regularly.
Bobby Green defeated Josh Thomson for the biggest win of his career.
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC / Zuffa LLC
Thomson (20-7, 1 NC) didn't land a ton and Green made sure everyone knew that, shaking his head when Thomson missed. Both men probably could have done more to press the issue throughout the fight, but Green was the beneficiary of the judges' decision.
Green's brother Mitchell Davis Jr. was murdered in May in what Green suspects to be a gang-related shooting. Green himself has received death threats. Those things plus rehabbing a broken ankle and the birth of his daughter have made the last two months very trying and emotional for Green and his family.
Green would have been an underdog against Thomson no matter what. But considering the circumstances, beating one of the best lightweights in the world and registering his name among the elite in the 155-pound division is simply massive.
Green has now won eight straight and could be nearing a title shot. Thomson has lost two in a row, though both by controversial split decisions.