Former UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson is down for a fight with Dustin Poirier later this year. Poirier has been looking for an opponent for his return at either lightweight or welterweight. He’s teased a move to welterweight following his most recent loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 last December. Poirier had initially…
Former UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson is down for a fight with Dustin Poirier later this year.
Poirier has been looking for an opponent for his return at either lightweight or welterweight. He’s teased a move to welterweight following his most recent loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 last December.
Poirier had initially been linked to a matchup with Nate Diaz before negotiations failed to materialize. Now, Poirier is on the hunt for another potential opponent and has appeared to informally accept a matchup with Colby Covington.
But it’s unclear if the UFC will go forward with the Covington vs. Poirier matchup, and Poirier called out all fighters at lightweight and welterweight for a scrap.
“155 or 170 anyone pull up July 30th,” Poirier recently tweeted. “International call out. Get a deal done.”
After getting word of Poirier’s worldwide callout, Thompson responded and seems on board with the idea of a fight with him.
“Hey [Dustin Poirier] I’m down to scrap!” Thompson replied. “July 30th let’s go!”
Poirier then issued a one-word response to Thompson’s accepted callout.
Thompson has suffered back-to-back losses to Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns and is looking to get back in the thick of things at welterweight. His last victory came against Geoff Neal in Dec. 2020.
Before the loss to Oliveira, Poirier earned back-to-back victories over Conor McGregor last year. Despite previously alluding to a move away from lightweight, he seems refocused on another fight with Oliveira for the title.
UFC 277 is slated to take place on July 30th at T-Mobile Arena and is rumored to be headlined by the rematch between Julianna Peña and Amanda Nunes.
Poirier seems to have a willing opponent in Thompson should he opt to make the move to welterweight. But, it’s unclear if the UFC will go forward with the matchup and give fans a fight between two of the best strikers in the sport.
Would you be interested in a Dustin Poirier vs. Stephen Thompson matchup?
Stephen Thompson is hoping to have a fun fight next time out. Thompson has suffered back-to-back decision losses to Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns in fights he was taken down and controlled. Since the losses, he has made it clear he wants a striker for his next fight and he has now taken to social…
“I’m down to fight @nickdiaz209 or @NateDiaz209 ! I have nothing but respect for both of those guys and I’m ready to go. Who wouldn’t love good striking battle?! #respect #readytogo,” Thompson wrote on Twitter.
There’s no question a fight between Thompson and either of the Diaz brothers would be massive and would be a fun fight. It also makes sense ranking-wise. as all three of them are no longer in the title picture but still are big names that can serve as co-main events on pay-per-views.
Stephen Thompson (16-6-1) as mentioned, is coming off the back-to-back losses to Muhammad and Burns. Prior to that, he beat Geoff Neal and Vicente Luque by decision. Had he beaten Burns last year, he could’ve been in line to fight for the belt.
As for Nick and Nate Diaz, Cesar Gracie came out and said Nick will fight again this year. Of course, he made his return last September at UFC 266 and suffered a loss to Robbie Lawler, but it appears he might not be going out like that.
Nate Diaz, meanwhile, is still in a contract dispute as he has one fight left on his contract and has been vocal in wanting to fight. Perhaps, fighting ‘Wonderboy’ piques his interest and the UFC is interested in making it happen.
For now, Thompson is still waiting for his next fight and has now shown interest in the Jorge Masvidal rematch or fighting one of the Diaz brothers.
Who would you like to see Stephen Thompson fight next?
UFC welterweight contender Stephen Thompson wants to run it back with Jorge Masvidal as both fighters look to stay in the title chase. Thompson and Masvidal are both on losing streaks in the UFC’s welterweight division, which would’ve surprised many back in 2019. Masvidal most recently fell to Colby Covington at UFC 272, while Thompson…
UFC welterweight contender Stephen Thompson wants to run it back with Jorge Masvidal as both fighters look to stay in the title chase.
Thompson and Masvidal are both on losing streaks in the UFC’s welterweight division, which would’ve surprised many back in 2019. Masvidal most recently fell to Colby Covington at UFC 272, while Thompson lost a lopsided unanimous decision to Belal Muhammad last December.
Thompson still has aspirations of another UFC welterweight title shot before he calls it a career. Now, he feels the time is right to fight Masvidal in a matchup between two welterweights in desperate need of a win.
Thompson fought Masvidal at UFC 217, earning a unanimous decision victory. This was Masvidal’s last fight before his self-proclaimed “resurrection” in which he won three straight in 2019.
“I would like to fight in May, we will see though. I had some names thrown at me like Robbie Lawler and now Masvidal came off the loss so that would be a fun rematch,” Thompson said. “The NMF vs. the BMF, so yeah man those are the kind of the guys I’m looking at. Give me a striker for my next fight. Don’t give me a wrestler, and the wrestlers are just a different pedigree. I’ve fought wrestlers in the past but now they are on a different level.”
Masvidal has squashed speculation that he may retire after the loss to Covington and seems intent on a quick return to the Octagon later this year. The timing may make sense for a fight with Thompson on an upcoming pay-per-view card.
UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson doesn’t think it would be a good idea if Francis Ngannou parted ways with the UFC for a Tyson Fury fight. Ngannou defeated Ciryl Gane in his first heavyweight title defense at UFC 270. After some early struggles in the fight, Ngannou was able to gain momentum with his grappling and […]
UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson doesn’t think it would be a good idea if Francis Ngannou parted ways with the UFC for a Tyson Fury fight.
Ngannou defeated Ciryl Gane in his first heavyweight title defense at UFC 270. After some early struggles in the fight, Ngannou was able to gain momentum with his grappling and coast to a unanimous decision win.
Ngannou has been at odds with the UFC brass over an ongoing contract dispute and has requested more leniency and freedom. More specifically, he wants to explore a potential boxing match against Fury shortly, after the two of them have gone back-and-forth on social media.
During a recent interview with MiddleEasy, Thompson explained why Ngannou should think twice before considering leaving his MMA home for a fight in the boxing ring.
“That’s one of the things with the UFC,” Thompson said. “[Ngannou’s] the baddest man on the planet. He is the biggest and baddest dude on the planet at this point, especially in MMA. And making, what they say he made, $600,000 or something like that? And you got other heavyweights in the boxing industry making $30 million, so I kind of see why he’s a little upset.
“But, this isn’t boxing… If he’s not with the UFC, what’s he gonna do? Have that one fight with Tyson Fury and that’s it? Is he gonna go to heavyweight boxing? I think that would be a mistake for him, to be honest with you.”
Ngannou’s relationship with the UFC brass has become tense in recent months, and UFC President Dana White refused to put the belt around him at UFC 270. Ngannou has always been known to have some of the most powerful hands in MMA history and has flirted with a potential move to boxing.
It’s unclear if Ngannou will remain with the UFC past 2022, but Thompson thinks Ngannou may be making a mistake by leaving his throne in MMA to pursue a money fight in boxing.
Do you agree with Stephen Thompson that Francis Ngannou shouldn’t leave the UFC?
UFC welterweight contender Stephen Thompson has explained why Henry Cejudo’s size has impacted his global draw and ability to demand certain fights. Not many individuals boast combat sports accolades as impressive as Cejudo. As well as being an Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling, a feat he achieved in Beijing in 2008, “Triple C” is […]
UFC welterweight contender Stephen Thompson has explained why Henry Cejudo’s size has impacted his global draw and ability to demand certain fights.
Not many individuals boast combat sports accolades as impressive as Cejudo. As well as being an Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling, a feat he achieved in Beijing in 2008, “Triple C” is a former two-division UFC champion, having held gold at both flyweight and bantamweight. No other fighter has won an Olympic gold medal and a UFC title.
But despite becoming only the second fighter to defend titles in two weight classes and defeating the likes of TJ Dillashaw, Dominick Cruz, and Demetrious Johnson, Cejudo is rarely talked about in the conversation for the greatest of all time and certainly isn’t looked at the same as many other former champs by a portion of the fanbase.
That sentiment was on display recently when the Californian’s intention to return from retirement to challenge Alexander Volkanovski for the featherweight title was laughed off by many, including UFC President Dana White.
Thompson Believes ‘Size Matters’
Having initially called out the 145-pound king last year in the hope of becoming the first three-division champ in UFC history, Cejudo had another crack at booking the matchup in recent days when Max Holloway withdrew from his scheduled trilogy clash with Volkanovski.
“The Messenger” was met with a claim that it wouldn’t make sense and “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung was granted the shot instead.
In response, Cejudo pointed out that the great Georges St-Pierre was granted the luxury of returning from a long layoff to move up to a new division and challenge for another title. ‘What’s the difference?’ Cejudo exclaimed. According to two-time welterweight title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, it’s size.
During a recent episode of his YouTube podcast, the #7-ranked 170lber suggested size matters when it comes to being a global draw and attraction, and being a fighter who’s in a position to make demands.
“It’s the size. It’s the size that matters,” Thompson said. “Like, guys look at these 125ers, 135ers, and, no beef, probably a lot of these guys can beat me, but what I’m saying is, they (fans) don’t look at these guys… everybody knows the heavyweights, everyone looks at Francis Ngannou, but when they look at the smaller guys they’re just not appealing.
“It’s like in Japan. The bigger, the more dramatic, the better,” added Thompson. “And when you look at the 135ers, they’re just not big and dramatic. You can try to be dramatic, but people aren’t gonna take you serious, like Cejudo, it comes off super cringe when you got somebody doing that. But you get somebody around 170 and up, especially at heavyweight, (it’s different)… That’s why in Japan there was only one weight class, that was it, heavyweight. When you fought K1, it was all heavyweight. It’s big, dramatic, flares, you know; people wanna see that.”
While it’s seemingly unlikely we’ll see Cejudo challenging for featherweight gold in his first fight back, all signs point towards the 34-year-old targeting a return to the Octagon in 2022.
If he can make a successful comeback and perhaps regain the bantamweight title he vacated in 2020, perhaps a super fight against whoever sits on the 145-pound throne at that time will be possible.
Do you agree with Stephen Thompson? Is Henry Cejudo not a bigger draw because of his size?
But instead of booking a date with reigning 170-pound king Kamaru Usman, “Wonderboy” slipped down the rankings with back-to-back setbacks.
In his first appearance of the year, Thompson faced recent title challenger and top-three welterweight Gilbert Burns. At the time, many believed a victory over “Durinho” would have secured the 38-year-old another opportunity to reach the mountaintop. However, in the UFC 264 co-main event, he was controlled and beaten on the scorecards by the Brazilian.
Fast forward five months to December’s UFC Vegas 45, and Thompson had a quick chance to rebound and keep his place in the title conversation. But in a similar fashion to his previous outing, he was taken down and convincingly out-grappled, this time by rising name Belal Muhammad.
During a recent interview with MiddleEasy, Thompson provided an update on his return. While an April fight is his current target, “Wonderboy” did reveal he is awaiting an MRI scan on his collarbone, which he’s experienced pain on since his defeat to Muhammad on December 18.
“Well, I wanna get back in April. I’ve got an MRI I’ve gotta do on my collarbone; It’s been killing me after the last fight,” said Thompson. “When Belal Muhammad picked me up and threw me down, I ended up putting my arm out and we both landed on my shoulder. I kinda jacked my collarbone up. So, I’m still training but usually, after every training session, it’s giving me some problems… But I wanna fight again in April. I’m not sure who yet.”
Nevertheless, Thompson doesn’t believe it’s too serious and hopes to have the chance to end his losing skid in the second quarter of the year.
Despite suggesting he’s looking to avoid an overwhelming wrestler in his next matchup, “Wonderboy” did admit he’s open to a “jiu-jitsu vs. karate” clash with grappling specialist Michael Chiesa.
“At this point, I would say, let’s hold off on the wrestlers real quick [LAUGHS]. The last few guys I just got obliterated… I think (Chiesa) would be a good opponent, for sure… I mean, he does have a name and he’s a good buddy of mine too, so I think that’d be a fun one,” added Thompson. “Obviously I’m gonna try and keep that fight standing because his jiu-jitsu is good. You saw his last fight with Vicente Luque, getting submitted, that’s kind of always been a thing. I’ve seen him start wrestling guys and him wrestling himself into a submission; getting sucked into a guillotine or triangle.
“He’s doing work at 170. I think I can outstrike him, I can out-move him, for sure. If we fought, I’d definitely look to keep the fight standing. But he fights fairly stiff. Maybe that’s why he’s so strong. He’s got that muscle. I think it would be a fun fight, it would definitely be one of those jiu-jitsu vs. karate guys again.”
But if he’s focusing solely on another striker he can trade blows with, who better than welterweight legend and former champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler?
“I think (Lawler) would be a really fun fight, especially for the fans. I’ve been trying to fight this guy since he was champion. I think that would be a great fight, even though he’s not ranked at this point, I would love (it). It would be an honor to fight a legend, and exciting, it would be an exciting fight. Two guys going out there striking it up. That would be awesome,” concluded Thompson.
Despite consecutive defeats in the Octagon, Thompson remains a fan favorite and a name most will always be excited to watch. “Wonderboy” will hope to put his entertaining and slick striking style on full display again in 2022 after an underwhelming last 12 months.
Who would you prefer to see Stephen Thompson face next, Michael Chiesa or Robbie Lawler?