EXCLUSIVE | Stephen Thompson discusses losing Robbie Lawler matchup and what might be next

Stephen Thompson, Robbie Lawler

Former two-time UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson was expected to square off with former division champion Robbie Lawler in early 2019.

Unfortunately, that fight was scrapped in favor of booking “Ruthless” against undefeated promotional newcomer Ben Askren at UFC 235.

While Askren vs. Lawler is an intriguing matchup, Stephen Thompson is now left without an opponent for the first quarter of 2019.

Wonderboy” was last seen in action in the headliner of May’s UFC event in Liverpool, where he suffered a controversial decision loss to Darren Till.

Prior to his setback in Liverpool, Thompson was coming off a spectacular performance against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217, which culminated in a unanimous decision victory for the native of South Carolina.

Still a perennial contender in the UFC stacked welterweight division, Stephen Thompson discussed the disappointment of losing the proposed Robbie Lawler fight and what might come next in a recent interview with BJPENN.com’s Chris Taylor.

“I’m doing good Chris, just training and living life.” Stephen Thompson said with a laugh. “It was disappointing to lose out on the Lawler fight. It was kind of crazy because I was pushing for that fight so hard and we were getting back that (Robbie) wouldn’t be ready and that he was still injured. And then suddenly the next thing we know he is fighting Ben Askren.”

While Robbie Lawler may no longer be an option, “Wonderboy” knows there is no shortage of talent and potential fights at 170-pounds.

Stephen Thompson told BJPENN.com that he was interested in a potential bout with Santiago Ponzinibbio, but apparently “Ponz” is not available.

“Nothing yet in terms of a new opponent. I was looking to fight Ponzinibbio, but he turned it down to be honest. Not sure if it was due to an injury or what. Hopefully we will hear something soon.”

Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor brought up the names of Rafael dos Anjos and Gunnar Nelson to Stephen Thompson as potential opponents.

“Well an RDA fight would be awesome!” Thompson admitted. “Anyone in the top five of the division would be great. I would like to fight someone ranked a little higher up than ‘Gunni’, but don’t get me wrong, the dude is a beast. Nelson is a handful for anyone in this division.”

The welterweight title picture remains unclear at this time, as Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman continue to jostle for the next crack at current 170-pound king Tyron Woodley.

Who would you like to see Stephen Thompson square off with in his next octagon appearance? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!