Former UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson didn’t have to fly across the Atlantic to battle rising prospect Darren Till in his hometown of Liverpool, and he sure as heck didn’t have to fight Till after he missed weight for the fight. But he did, and for that, UFC President Dana White was very thankful. In fact, White even assured post-fight that the UFC would “do everything we can to give [Thompson] what he wants” in return for his sacrifices.
Thompson is hoping Dana White and the UFC will keep their word. He’s hoping to cash in the favor he’s owed, and bring the UFC to his home state of South Carolina — an unexplored territory for the promotion. If he can bring the UFC to South Carolina — particularly to the city of Greenville — he’s hoping to battle former champion Robbie Lawler in the main event.
“We took [White] up on [his offer],” Thompson told MMAjunkie recently. “We chatted back and forth, and I think that’s something they’re definitely excited about and looking forward to. Hopefully we can get something going by the end of the year. If not that, the beginning of next year.”
“We have an awesome venue here,” Thompson continued, speaking of the 16,000 seat Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville. “It seats a hundred more than the [MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas]. I did my very first MMA fight at the arena, and we packed it out. I know we can. That’s something we’re just trying to work on. We want some more fights down south. It’s something we’re talking about with Dana White, and we want to make that happen.”
“If not, it would be cool to fight again in Madison Square Garden.”
Whatever the case, Lawler is currently the priority in terms of Thompson’s next opponent.
“With Robbie Lawler, he’s coming off of a knee injury,” Thompson said. “I was just thinking, ‘Robbie Lawler’s out for a little bit. I might be out for a little bit. Let’s call for Robbie Lawler and maybe the timing will be fairly right.’
“Hopefully we can fight each other.”
Do you think Stephen Thompson can bring the UFC to his home state of South Carolina?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/3/2018.