Last I checked, we still have freedom of opinion in this country. For example, my opinion is that Josh Thomson’s take on marriage equality is pretty ridiculous. The gateway argument, which holds that allowing consenting adults of the same gender to marry will lead to all sorts of absurd societal consequences, has been so thoroughly disproven that it barely merits a reply. But there’s a considerable difference between Thomson’s comments, which kicked up a storm Wednesday, and others that have landed mixed martial artists in hot water. Which is why UFC president Dana White was correct on Thursday in telling MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani that he’s not going to fine or suspend Thomson for his remarks. Nate Diaz was suspended for using a homophobic slur over Twitter. It’s been pretty well established in the corporate environment of 2013 that slurs toward any group are unacceptable. Matt Mitrione was suspended for a hateful diatribe aimed at a specific person, Fallon Fox. Mitrione was acting as a bully and deserved what he got. The difference between Thomson’s views and those of Diaz and Mitrione is that Thomson’s appear to be grounded in pure ignorance, not hate. He wasn’t using slurs and he wasn’t picking on a specific person. He was simply issuing a really dumb opinion. One to which he’s entitled. Bill Maher put it best last year when he asked When did we get it in our heads that we have the right to never hear anything we don’t like? Punishing hate speech is one thing. Taking things another step and punishing people for merely expressing an opinion with which you disagree is a road that I, for one, don’t want to go down. White characterized Thomson’s comments as rambling, stupid s— and probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Plenty of people who didn’t have a negative opinion of Josh Thomson before this week now consider him a certifiable moron. He’s been judged in the court of public opinion. That’s punishment enough. On to the latest edition of Fightweets, which was spiced up Thursday with the announcement of a string of big fall fights: Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson in September; Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez in October; and Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks in November. Big fall fights @CaliScruff: Possible Jones-Silva superfight New Year’s weekend if they both win?? Gold star to CaliScruff for zeroing in on the million-dollar question. Boy, does the result of Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman on July 6 now loom huge. If Silva wins in July and Jon Jones in September, then that sure seems to pave the way for Silva vs. Jones. If not on New Year’s weekend (since White seemed so determined to get a superfight in for 2013), then for Super Bowl weekend, the night before their broadcast partner, FOX, airs the Super Bowl from the New York area. And hey, if anything happens that would prevent Jones from competing again by that time, then the door would still be open for Silva vs. GSP, assuming St-Pierre gets by Johny Hendricks, which is no gimme. The planets are as close to aligned as they’ve ever been. If Weidman wins at UFC 162, that all goes out the window. @Christopher_kit: How does the rubber match between Valasquez & JDS compare to all others in the past? I’m not convinced this will be the rubber match, actually. Unlike, say, Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski, where no one ever wanted to see the two fight each other ever again afterwards (but we were still subjected to it anyway), or Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture, when it was obvious enough at the end who was the winner and who came up short that Couture retired following the third bout (for awhile, at least), Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos is different. These are two guys in their primes who are heads and tails above everyone else in the division. Their skills match up in such a way that if the trilogy fight is well-contested, I wouldn’t rule out a fourth fight down the road. And if we ended a fourth fight tied at two, a fifth one might be needed. @EdgeLife4ME: Is there an injury to either [St-Pierre or Johny Hendricks] I’m not aware of?? Why wait till November?? GSP asked for some time off after the Diaz fight. He had his big return fight against Carlos Condit, which was a five-round war; and he had his match with Nick Diaz, where he had to put up with all Diaz’s antics while also dealing with a lingering illness heading up to the fight. St-Pierre earned the right to take a break if that’s what he wanted. Hometown fights @Tjohn224: How much does the crowd matter? It amazing the success the Brazilian fighters have had on cards in Brazil. Having the crowd behind you helps, but I’m not sure the success of Brazilian fighters is about the crowd so much as it is the difficulties of fighting halfway around the world as opposed to on your home turf. Back in the day, when American fighters lost in Japan, it was held up as proof Japanese fighters were superior. Then Japanese fighters started producing decidedly mixed results when they st…