Saturday evening in New York, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson will step into the Octagon with Tyron Woodley for a highly anticipated welterweight showdown in a fight which will serve as Woodley’s first title defense since winning the belt at UFC 201 earlier this year.
Despite Woodley calling out Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz following his UFC 201 win over Robbie Lawler, it was Thompson and his 7-fight win streak that were given the crack at the welterweight championship at the UFC’s historic Madison Square Garden card this Saturday.
While Thompson possesses arguably some of the best striking in UFC today, Woodley has been training with UFC prospect Sage Northcutt, who has been mimicking ‘Wonderboy’ throughout Woodley’s training camp for the fight. While Woodley has stated that he believes Northcutt is a better version of Thompson, ‘Wonderboy’ believes that he will surprise ‘The Chosen One’ when the pair step into the Octagon.
Ahead of the fight, Thompson, who has an impressive finishing rate inside the Octagon, spoke following his UFC 205 open workout to discuss the fight, and the possibility of having to go 5 rounds with the champ:
“I don’t think he’s ready, to be honest with you,” Thompson said at today’s UFC 205 open workouts. “Sage Northcutt is a good karate guy but we still have a lot of differences between each other’s style. It’s very difficult to figure out and adapt to once you’re out in the octagon.”
“Every time I visualize this fight (and) I don’t like to make predictions; I will go five rounds, but every time I visualize this fight I get the belt wrapped around my waist and get my hand raised,”
While Northcutt is an extremely unorthodox striker, with an impressive karate background similar to Thompson, the title challenger has continued to leave fight fans in awe of his accurate and destructive striking over the course of his 7-fight win streak. Arguably the most impressive win being his February win over Johny Hendricks, in which he became the first man to stop the former champ via TKO.
When Woodley and Thompson step into the Octagon on Saturday, who do you think will leave The Empire State with the welterweight championship? Give us your predictions below PENN Nation!