Stephen Thompson is returning in a dangerous scrap with welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal, but he has his eyes set on bigger things. He’s had two shots at Tyron Woodley’s title, but came up short each time. Before he knew he was going to get the fight, he talked about a match with Robbie Lawler. With Woodley gone for shoulder rehab, he’s said it gives the division a chance to shuffle, which is why Thompson wants Lawler to be his ace in the whole to close our he and Woodley’s trilogy.
“WE’VE BEEN KIND OF GOING BACK AND FORTH WITH ME AND ROBBIE LAWLER, I WAS RANKED NUMBER ONE, THEN HE’S NUMBER ONE, THEN WE’RE BOTH NUMBER ONE. SO HOPEFULLY A GOOD WIN OVER [JORGE MASVIDAL] – YOU KNOW, I UNDERSTAND TYRON [WOODLEY] IS OUT FOR A LITTLE WHILE, SO HOPEFULLY WE’LL BE ABLE TO FIGHT AGAINST ROBBIE LAWLER, MAYBE FOR AN INTERIM WELTERWEIGHT TITLE AGAINST HIM FOR THAT BELT. YOU’RE GONNA SEE MORE OF STEPHEN ‘WONDERBOY’ THOMPSON THAN YOU SAW IN MY LAST TWO FIGHTS AGAINST TYRON. I LOVE IT WHEN GUYS COME FORWARD, WHICH IS SOMETHING YOU DIDN’T SEE DURING THE TYRON WOODLEY FIGHT. BUT THAT’S JUST THE WAY MASVIDAL IS, HE COMES WALKING FORWARD, HE’S NOT AFRAID TO PRESS THE ACTION, WHICH ENABLES ME TO USE MY ARSENAL A LITTLE BIT BETTER, TO USE MY KICKS, TO USE MY ANGLES. SO YEAH, MAN, YOU’RE GONNA SEE A MORE EXCITING FIGHT FROM ME NOVEMBER 4TH.”
“IT’S DEFINITELY AN HONOR AND PRIVILEGE TO BE ABLE TO FACE JORGE MASVIDAL AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN IN NEW YORK CITY BECAUSE IT’S A HOME AWAY FROM HOME. I SPEND A LOT OF TIME THERE ANYWAY, BUT JUST TO BE BACK THERE AND PUT ON ANOTHER SHOW IN FRONT OF THE FANS. YOU KNOW, MY LAST FIGHT THERE I FOUGHT A DRAW, WE GOT ‘FIGHT OF THE NIGHT’ FOR THAT FIGHT, SO GOING BACK THERE AND GETTING A ‘W’ IN MY HOME AWAY FROM HOME WOULD JUST BE UNBELIEVABLE. SO, I’M TRAINING LITERALLY AS HARD I CAN FOR THIS FIGHT TO BE ABLE TO PUT ON A GREAT PERFORMANCE FOR EVERYBODY IN NEW YORK CITY. AND MAN, IT IS DIFFERENT FROM THE LAST ONE BECAUSE I CAN JUST GO OUT THERE AND FOCUS ON THE FIGHT AND NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE MEDIA STUFF THAT COMES ALONG WITH IT.” –STEPHEN THOMPSON SPEAKING TO SUBMISSION RADIO.
Banking on a more exciting clash of styles, Stephen Thompson will look to take advantage of Jorge Masvidal coming forward chomping down on the mouthpiece and throwing bombs. Thompson and Masvidal’s fight will open up the main card of a super-duper stacked UFC 217 event on November 4th. Interim welterweight title possibility aside, either winner getting booked in a fight with Robbie Lawler would be fun match-ups guaranteed to be fireworks.
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 10/10/2017.