Earlier this month at UFC 205, top ranked welterweight contender Stephen Thompson stepped into the Octagon in the co-main event of the card with welterweight champion Tyron Woodley for a highly anticipated showdown.
The fight was an extremely back and forth one, with Woodley coming out strong in the first round and securing a takedown, landing some brutal ground and pound elbows on Thompson. ‘Wonderboy’ bounced back however, picking apart the champ in the next two rounds, before then being rocked and nearly finished in the fourth round. In the fifth, it was more of the same as Thompson appeared to be edging out the champ in the striking category.
When the fight was over, the judges scorecards were ultimately read as a majority draw, with Woodley retaining his belt.
Following the fight, UFC President Dana White revealed that because the fight was a draw, a rematch was the next logical option for both men. With that being said, there has been no word yet as to when the potential rematch would take place, until now.
Thompson spoke with BJPenn.com in an exclusive interview, saying:
“So from what we understand, it is going to happen (the rematch). We are just not really sure when it is going to be in February, or if it will take place in March. Of course I have some healing up to do. I have some lacerations on nose and my face and I’m a little bruised up. I banged up my feet a little bit. But other than that, I am healing up good and ready to get back in the gym and start training again. So yea, from what we understand the rematch is going to happen. We just are not yet sure when or where. But I talked to my management company and they have been in talks with the UFC and everybody is happy with it man.”
With a potential timeframe for the potential rematch in mind, Thompson believes that he and his coaches have found several things he can do better to ensure victory in the rematch:
“You know as soon as me and my coaches got back from New York we watched the video and looked at the fight and saw a lot of things that we could have done better. So we are going to improve on that man and we (myself and Woodley) will be doing it again probably in February or March.”
Now, nearly two weeks removed from the fight, Thompson calls the experience of fighting at UFC 205 in New York a “dream come true”, saying:
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“Man you know it was definitely a dream come true. To be able to fight in Madison Square Garden, one of the most prestigious venues in the world where so many legendary performers and athletes have performed, it was just amazing to be a part of that. Not only that, but it was really cool to be able to share the octagon with my brother in law Chris Weidman, which was also a big reason why I wanted to be a part of the card. Of course it did not turn out very well for the both of us, but we will definitely be better fighters when we step out there next time. But yea, it was just awesome man. Just to be able to fight for the title as well and fight one of the best guys in the welterweight division and go five 5-minute rounds was special. Of course it went to a draw and didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, but it was very special regardless.”