In the main event of UFC on Fox 21, UFC welterweight Demian Maia dazzled with a first-round submission of long-time contender Carlos Condit. The win extended the Brazilian’s streak to six, and under slightly different conditions, probably would have catapulted him directly into a title fight with welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Unfortunately for Maia, the welterweight division is also home to Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, a streaking striker with seven straight wins behind him. Unless the UFC throws us a serious curveball, Thompson will be given the next shot at Woodley, while Maia will have to wait to fight the winner of that bout.
In a recent interview with Submission Radio, Thompson reaffirmed his status as the welterweight division’s number one contender and explained why he should get the next title shot over Maia.
The striker’s main argument for the title shot comes down to numbers.
“I do believe that, after me and Tyron fight, [Maia] should be getting the title fight,” Thompson said on the show.”But if you look at it, I’ve got the longer winning streak. I’m at seven, he’s at six.”
While Thompson remained complimentary of Maia throughout the interview, he also admitted that he believes he’s defeated higher-quality opposition than his Brazilian rival.
“The guys he’s fought… Carlos Condit is a monster, Neil Magny, Gunnar Nelson… they’re all really good fighters but I think I’ve beaten the better, more prestigious fighters,” Thompson said of their respective opposition.
“I beat Rory MacDonald, who was the last guy that beat him.”
Thompson also addressed the argument that a 38-year-old Maia should get the next title shot simply because he’s running out of time.
“I know he’s an older guy, and he thinks he should get it before me because he’s an older guy, but hey, I can’t help it that he started MMA at a later age. I feel like I started at a later age. When I started, I think I was 28. So yeah, I’m definitely the one that deserves that next title shot.”
And what would Thompson think if Maia–or someone else–were to get the next shot instead of him?
“I think it’s crazy if they don’t give me this fight.”
Do you think Stephen Thompson deserves the next crack at the welterweight title? How will you feel if the title shot goes to someone else? Sound off, PENN nation!