Wonderboy vs Masvidal
Wow! what a year 2020 has been, the NMF of UFC closed off the final card with an impressive win and almost impressive callout of the BMF. As we look uncertainly into 2021, I highlight the journey of these two warriors in the welterweight division, and the possibility of us seeing the BMF vs NMF.
On a momentous night at UFC 217, when possibly one of the greatest ever, George St. Pierre stepped back into the octagon to take on the Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping, a then #2 ranked Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson took on ‘Gamebred’ Jorge Masvidal. ‘Wonderboy’ lost to Tyrone Woodley at UFC 209, and a lot of fans sensed that it would be a long time until he was seen in a Championship match again. A loaded division and several fighters gunning for an opportunity at the Welterweight belt saw ‘Wonderboy’ needing to put on an impressive win streak for his shot at Welterweight gold again.
That night Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson produced a clinical striking display, and mercurial agility to defeat Jorge Masvidal and get back to the winning column. Before UFC 217, Masvidal had lost three of his previous six and needed to get the victory to move up the pecking order and stamp his claim at a title shot. Unfortunately for him, Wonderboy was just too good on the night, and Masvidal incapable of fighting to his game plan took the decision loss and left on a two-year hiatus.
Masvidal returns as Street Jesus
Masvidal returned in 2019 as an inspired fighter, needing to ‘baptize’ opponents instead of leaving it to the judges. He impressed with three bouts in 2019. Within this span, we saw him knockout Darren Till in a ‘performance of the night’ showing, producing the highlight flying knee KO to Ben Askren, and then dominated Nate Diaz to become the UFC’s BMF Champion and pick up the ‘fighter of the year’ award. In pure BMF fashion, he then stepped in on short notice to take on Champion Kamaru Usman but eventually fell short to the Nigerian nightmare. All roads were leading to a bitter match with former teammate and friend Colby Covington…until Wonderboy’s victory at UFC Vegas 17.
‘Wonderboy’ fell further down the pecking order after back-to-back defeats saw him lose bouts against Liverpool’s Darren Till and an astonishing superman punch knockout to ‘Showtime’ Anthony Pettis. ‘Wonderboy’ seemingly dominated the opening rounds of the fight but got caught clean by Pettis. His ‘fight of the night’ display against Vicente Luque at UFC 244 saw him getting booked against talented striker Geoff Neal as the co-main event. Following Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards positive COVID-19 tests, the two were bumped up to the main event the final card of 2020.
UFC Vegas 17 aftermath
At UFC Vegas 17 Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson produced a masterclass in meticulous striking against a tough opponent in Geoff Neal. He was too quick and his experience and talent saw him take the decision victory.
Following his victory, Wonderboy was quoted saying “I know he had mentioned fighting me if he would win the title from Usman. He said he would like to run it back with me, so I know my name is still up there with him. I would love to fight him again, he’s ranked higher than me, he’s given me inspiration because I beat him at UFC 217 and now, he’s ranked higher. Super popular, which is awesome. But I think that would be cool, that would be epic. NMF vs. BMF and you don’t have to be like a trash talker to be the BMF, right? You just gotta be a bad dude in the cage, that’s how I look at it.”
Masvidal recently tweeted “unfinished business” which suggested he could be interested in the rematch, but he also wanted a chance at Kamaru Usman again- the key sits with his old friend Colby Covington. 2021 is proving to be an exciting year for UFC fans and seeing Masvidal defending his BMF title vs the NMF in the UFC may interest a lot of people, which will add some spice to the welterweight rankings.
Styles make fights and having already seen Wonderboy vs Masvidal, most fans might opt to see a more violent and aggressive bout that is almost guaranteed in Masvidal vs Covington. Whatever Dana decides to do in 2021, both fighters have an exciting year ahead. Which fight would you rather see? get in touch on our social media pages and get the conversation flowing. 2020 has been a crazy year, but it’s the holidays. So enjoy your festive season and know that the next time the UFC returns, so does the notorious Conor McGregor!
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