This weekend, UFC welterweight #1 contender Stephen Thompson will step into the Octagon with UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley for a highly anticipated welterweight rematch. The fight will serve as rounds five through ten following the pair’s thrilling UFC 205 scrap which saw Woodley retain the belt after the fight was scored a majority decision.
Ahead of the fight, Stephen Thompson spoke to TMZ to discuss not only his upcoming fight, but also the reports of a potential Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather scrap, which he recently revealed is closer and closer to becoming official.
“Definitely [I know how the Woodley rematch will play out] feeling his strength feeling what he’s got in that first round, I wasn’t 100%, I didn’t throw everything I knew I had in that fight. Didn’t throw the kicks, didn’t throw the angles, I was very hesitant during that fight. Mentally, I’m mentally strong.”
“I’m ready to go out there and do it again.”
Thompson then shifted gears after being asked if he was sick of hearing about a potential Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather fight, saying:
“Yeah man [I am sick of hearing about it]. I think it should be about our sport, not boxing. I mean where’s boxing going nowadays? That’s why they’re doing fights like this. Because boxing is going nowhere.”
While several members of the boxing community have stated that it’s disrespectful to boxing to put McGregor, a fighter with no professional boxing experience, in talks of a fight with Floyd Mayweather, Thompson was asked if he thought the matchup was disrespectful to the sport of MMA, to which he stated:
“Yeah I think so, it’s going towards that WWE type mentality of just getting the bigger fights. It just seems like a show to me. This is the fight game, I do it to see who the best man it. For me it’s not for the pay.”
While talks of a potential Mayweather-McGregor scrap have certainly picked up steam throughout the course of 2017, both UFC President Dana White and Floyd Mayweather have stated that a fight is far from being official.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/28/2017.