Stephen Thompson (16-6-1) is a former title challenger in the UFC and has a highlight reel for the ages. His karate style and magnetic personality have made him a fan favorite over the years, however, he has now won just three fights since 2017. Wonderboy fought Belal Muhammad on December 18th at UFC Vegas 45 when he was on the wrong end of a unanimous decision beatdown. Muhammad utilized a grapple-heavy approach to neutralize Thompson’s dangerous stand-up, clocking up nearly 12 minutes of ground control time.
This loss marks the second fight in a row in which Wonderboy has been dominated in the grappling department, the previous being a decision loss in July 2021 to welterweight contender Gilbert Burns. Since the Muhammad fight, many MMA fans have been vocal in their desire to see Thompson retire as they feel he cannot make another run for a title shot in such a stacked division inside the UFC.
Thompson addressed the fans on his YouTube channel and gave his thoughts on the fight and his plans for the future. When speaking on the Belal Muhammad fight Wonderboy explains that he felt great although thinks he had some issues prior to the fight when rehydrating after his weight cut. He said, “I got down in weight, I felt okay my face did look a little sunk in, it was just the rehydration that was difficult.” Thompson goes on to say he felt weak in the fight and became tired a lot quicker than he normally would, although he acknowledges that Muhammad’s style is to tire his opponents.
Thompson commented on the fans calling for him to retire and said “I can’t believe people are saying I’m old and I should retire! I feel like people that do retire when they sit down on the chair and they just feel like they should retire. Like just, their bodies beat up, aches and pains… When I sit here and I’m sitting down in this chair, I feel great. I feel fine. I feel better than I was five years ago. I just don’t get it.”
Wonderboy is currently #7 in the UFC welterweight rankings and coming off two losses has limited options in terms of a next opponent. If the 38-year-old Thompson has no plans to retire, who would you like to see him face next? Can he surge once again and compete for UFC gold before the end of his career?
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