Home MMA NewsLatest News Stephen Thompson Unveils Alternate Fight Offer After UFC 291 Cancellation, Sets Sights on Kamaru Usman

Stephen Thompson Unveils Alternate Fight Offer After UFC 291 Cancellation, Sets Sights on Kamaru Usman

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MMA Journey

In the wild world of mixed martial arts, where fights are often as unpredictable as the outcomes, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson’s recent revelation adds another layer of intrigue. The seasoned fighter, known for his remarkable techniques and charismatic persona, recently opened up about the UFC’s efforts to secure him an alternative fight after his scheduled UFC 291 bout against Michel Pereira fell through.

Thompson, a staple in the welterweight division, candidly shared his experiences on his popular YouTube channel. It appears the UFC offered him a shot against Australian standout Jack Maddalena at UFC 293, a mere six weeks following the originally planned UFC 291 event in late July. However, after dedicating an exhaustive four-month training camp to prepare for UFC 291, Thompson made the decision to decline the offer.

In his characteristic good-humored manner, Thompson recounted, “This is literally the weekend of UFC 291, but UFC comes to me and was like, ‘Hey, how about you fight [Jack Della Maddelena] in Australia?’ … I was like, ‘No, too soon.’ You know, I’ve been training since April. So my training camp has been wearing me down, want to heal up from that. So I told him no.”

But the UFC was not ready to throw in the towel just yet. They came back with another proposition, suggesting a fight for the following weekend in Las Vegas. Thompson chuckled as he recalled his response, “Man, still too soon again. My body’s broken down. I want to be able to heal back up, but not only that, JDM is a tough dude. I want to get a full-on, proper training camp if I want to face a guy like JDM.”

While Thompson’s UFC 291 plans hit an unexpected snag, it’s his age-defying determination that continues to capture attention. At 40 years old, he’s not willing to make hasty turnarounds without adequate preparation time. “I told UFC, ‘Look, I’ll fight the JDMs, I will fight the Ian Garrys, just give me a full training camp,'” he affirmed, stressing the importance of proper preparation for opponents.

Interestingly, just when Thompson thought the plot couldn’t thicken any further, a twist emerged. “And then a few days later, lo and behold tomorrow, Kamaru Usman calls me out?” he shared with a mix of disbelief and amusement. The unexpected call-out came from the reigning welterweight champion himself, Kamaru Usman, who saw Thompson as a fitting challenge for this phase of his career.

For Thompson, a fight with a former champion like Usman is the kind of opportunity he’s been waiting for. His excitement was palpable as he exclaimed, “Let’s freaking go! I mean, I was willing to fight the JDMs, the Ian Garrys, the Shavkat [Rakhmanovs], but then you got the guy, the No. 1 contender, the former UFC champ, one of the greatest fighters, called me out.”

The prospect of facing Usman ignites Thompson’s competitive fire, and he’s ready to prove himself against the best. “I’ve been fighting [lower-ranked fighters] since Tyron Woodley — apart from Gilbert Burns — to be honest with you. I’ve been fighting those thirteens — the Geoff Neals, the Vicente Luques, the Belal Muhammads, you know, try to get that fight with Michel Pereira, who I think was 15 or 13 … giving these guys a shot.”

Thompson’s ambition stretches beyond merely proving his mettle to the UFC. He’s eager to demonstrate to fans and fellow fighters alike that he’s more than just a gatekeeper. “I want to show the UFC — and not just the UFC, the fans — that I’m not a gatekeeper,” he emphasized. With the clock ticking on his fighting career, Thompson sees this moment as his window to chase another title shot.

Addressing his previous losses, Thompson shared, “Yes, Gilbert Burns beat me. Yes, Belal Muhammad beat me. But I’ve never faced a guy that beat me the way that they beat me before.” He acknowledged the lessons learned from those defeats and the subsequent improvements he’s made to his game. “This is my opportunity to show the UFC and the fans and fighters out there that I got what it takes to go for that title again, that I got what it takes to face those guys in the top five, in the top three, the No. 1 contender, that I can fight for the title again.”

Thompson’s journey in the UFC has been marked by high-stakes battles and near misses. He famously fought to a draw against former champ Tyron Woodley at UFC 205 and experienced a heart-wrenching loss in their immediate rematch at UFC 209. Notably, his recent victory over Kevin Holland at UFC Orlando put an end to a two-fight losing streak that included setbacks against Burns and Muhammad.

Summing up his excitement about the potential Usman matchup, Thompson’s words are laced with eagerness, “It’s just an opportunity to face a guy that I’ve been wanting to fight for a while. Obviously, [fighting champion] Leon Edwards, when I beat Kamaru Usman, that’s my plan. That’s who I want.”

With the rollercoaster of emotions and unexpected twists in Thompson’s journey, one can’t help but be intrigued by what’s next for this seasoned fighter. As the UFC world watches with bated breath, Thompson’s determination and resilience shine as brightly as ever.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about MMA Journey

Who is Stephen Thompson?

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is a well-known fighter in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA). He’s a seasoned welterweight contender with a remarkable fighting style and a charismatic personality.

What happened with Stephen Thompson’s UFC 291 bout?

Stephen Thompson’s scheduled bout with Michel Pereira at UFC 291 was canceled. However, he revealed that the UFC offered him an alternate fight against Jack Maddalena at UFC 293, just six weeks later. Thompson declined due to the toll of a four-month training camp.

What was Stephen Thompson’s response to the alternate fight offer?

Thompson turned down the alternate fight offer against Jack Maddalena. He emphasized the importance of proper preparation and healing after a strenuous training camp. Thompson’s priority is facing opponents with a full training camp under his belt.

Why did Kamaru Usman call out Stephen Thompson?

Kamaru Usman, the reigning UFC welterweight champion, called out Stephen Thompson, recognizing him as a challenging opponent for this phase of his career. Usman saw Thompson as a fitting competitor after his recent trilogy fight with Leon Edwards and a missed opportunity against Khamzat Chimaev.

What does Stephen Thompson hope to achieve with this opportunity?

Stephen Thompson aims to showcase that he’s more than just a gatekeeper in the division. He wants to demonstrate his ability to contend with top-ranked fighters and compete for the welterweight title once again. This opportunity to face Usman presents a chance for Thompson to make a statement.

What are some of Stephen Thompson’s past achievements?

Thompson has twice fought for the UFC welterweight title. He notably fought to a draw against Tyron Woodley at UFC 205 and then lost their rematch at UFC 209. His recent victory over Kevin Holland at UFC Orlando marked a triumphant return after facing setbacks against Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad.

What’s Stephen Thompson’s mindset regarding this potential matchup?

Thompson’s excitement is palpable as he welcomes the challenge of facing Kamaru Usman. He sees it as a chance to prove himself against one of the greatest fighters in the division. Thompson is determined to use this opportunity to solidify his position and pursue another title shot.

What’s next for Stephen Thompson?

With the potential fight against Kamaru Usman on the horizon, Thompson’s journey continues with determination and enthusiasm. He aims to make the most of his fighting career, seizing opportunities to compete against top-ranked opponents and work towards his ultimate goal of contending for the welterweight title.

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