Stephen Thompson expecting a ‘Fight of the Year’ contender against Michel Pereira at UFC 291: “Preparing for the hardest fight ever”

By Cole Shelton - July 26, 2023

Stephen Thompson is excited to finally get the chance to face Michel Pereira.

Stephen Thompson

After Thompson lost back-to-back fights to Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns he told he wanted to be matched up with Pereira next. However, he ended up facing Kevin Holland and scored a TKO win but will now face Pereira at UFC 291.

“I think it is great. It’s going to be a good scrap and a good one for the fans, that is for sure,” Thompson said on Just Scrap Radio on “Good exciting fight, like my last fight. In order to be up for Fight of the Year you need to have a good dance partner that is going to put on a show. That is what I am looking to do come July 29.”

Originally, Stephen Thompson was supposed to face Michel Pereira at UFC 289, but the fight was postponed until UFC 291. There was no reason why and ‘Wonderboy’ says he still doesn’t know why it was moved.

“I have no idea, I just didn’t get a contract until weeks before. Then the next thing you know they said they are going to postpone it,” Stephen Thompson said. “I wasn’t really sure when (it would happen) at the time, but ended up getting postponed and here we are… It just gives me more time to prepare for the fight and be more prepared to put on a show.”

With Stephen Thompson thinking his UFC 291 fight against Michel Pereira could be the Fight of the Year he knows it will be a back-and-forth scrap.

Thompson knows Pereira throws a lot of weird strikes and wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to wrestle. However, ‘Wonderboy’ is confident when it is all said and done he will get his hand raised.

“In our karate style, we are used to some crazy stuff, not that crazy with backflips. But, I’m used to some wild and crazy stuff our karate guys throw…He is tough. I never look for the knockout or anything,” Thompson said. “I just visualize my hand getting raised and preparing for the hardest fight ever. That is what I prepare for, going out there, if it’s standing up or on the ground, mentally I am better off preparing for the hardest fight than thinking I will knock him out.”

Should Thompson get his hand raised at UFC 291, he believes a victory should get him someone in the top five. As well, he thinks he would be a win away from a title shot.

“Hopefully we will fight somebody who is ranked above me. A good win over Michel Pereira hopefully gets me someone in the top five, and getting back to the title shot, especially against another striker like Leon Edwards, would be a great fight. The last few guys he has fought he has been wrestlers so I think he would like that as well,” Thompson concluded.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Exclusive MMA Interviews Stephen Thompson UFC UFC 291