- Stephen Thompson is throwing his hat in the welterweight title picture.
- Thompson is the only Top 5 fighter that current champion Kamaru Usman has not faced and defeated.
- Wonderboy is coming off back to back wins over Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal.
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson wants to get the next crack at UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman and he has a valid reason why:
Well seeing as how I’m the only guy in the top 5 that Usman hasn’t fought yet….I guess I’m next…makes sense right? Great performance @USMAN84kg ! #ufc258
— Stephen Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) February 14, 2021
While UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman has been clearing out the UFC’s 170-pound division during his unbeaten 13-fight stint in the UFC, there is still one Top 5 fighter that the Nigerian Nightmare hasn’t faced. And while Usman is currently asking for a rematch with Jorge Masvidal, Stephen Thompson has the right to at least call out the current welterweight champion.
#AndStill! @Usman84kg is the baddest alive ?? #UFC258 pic.twitter.com/kUw0sVaQGr
— UFC (@ufc) February 14, 2021
Usman successfully defended the UFC welterweight title with a third round TKO of top contender Gilbert Burns at UFC 258 last weekend. The win was Usman’s third successful defense of the 170-pound belt which he won from Tyron Woodley at UFC 235.
The Nigerian Nightmare defeated Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal in his two previous title defenses, meaning he has defeated the division’s no. 1, 2, and 4 ranked contenders. Prior to becoming champion, Usman also defeated current no. 3 welterweight Leon Edwards. He also owns wins over no. 8 Maia and current no. 7 Woodley.
If you do the math, Usman’s 13-fight unbeaten streak in the UFC has included wins over six Top 10 ranked fighters, including the contenders currently ranked 1 to 4. The next highest ranked welterweight that Usman hasn’t faced is Thompson who is currently ranked 5th in the latest UFC rankings.
Ending Winning Streaks of Luque, Neal
Stephen Thompson defeats Geoff Neal by Unanimous Decision, what a way to finish the year.#UFCVegas17 pic.twitter.com/bJnK7wGsjA
— bet365 AUS (@bet365_aus) December 20, 2020
Thompson is coming off a win over Geoff Neal at the UFC’s last event of 2020, doing so as the betting underdog in the best UFC betting sites. Wonderboy has won his last two bouts and had ended the winning streaks of two of the division’s fastest rising prospects.
The 38-year old Thompson defeated no.10 Vicente Luque via unanimous decision at UFC 244. Not only did Wonderboy earn Fight of the Night honors in that bout, he also ended Luque’s six fight winning streak. 11 months later, Thompson also halted Neal’s seven-bout winning streak by shutting out the UFC’s no. 11 ranked contender in a five-round decision that won him Performance of the Night honors.
Wonderboy has been one of the top fighters in the UFC welterweight division for years. Although he failed to win the belt in two attempts, he suffered a majority draw and lost a majority decision to Tyron Woodley in both title bouts. Both Woodley fights could have gone either way. Thompson then lost a catchweight fight to Darren Till and got caught by Anthony Pettis at UFC on ESPN+6 for his only other losses since 2012. Wondeboy has a record of 16-4 with seven knockouts and one win via submission.