Last month, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson picked up the biggest win of his professional MMA career as he became the first man to stop former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.
Thompson showcased his elite level striking skills as he picked Hendricks apart and ultimately rocked the champ before finishing with a flurry of strikes that forced the referee to stop the bout in the 1st round.
After the bout there was much speculation as to whether or not Thompson would get a title shot against Robbie Lawler given his dominance against Hendricks. Ultimately, the UFC announced that Thompson would fight Rory MacDonald in what many believe to be a #1 contender fight.
Given that Thompson spent time training with MacDonald at Tristar gym, it’s understandable that Thompson didn’t want to fight MacDonald, however business is business.
He spoke with UFC.com about the situation:
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“After the Hendricks fight, I wanted Lawler, but sometimes that just doesn’t work out,” Thompson told UFC.com. “I never really wanted to fight Rory because we’ve done training before, known each other for a long time, spent many years up at Tristar with (head coach) Firas (Zahabi) and Georges. That’s one thing I try to avoid, but sometimes you have to go out there and do it. It’s been a few years (since I last trained up there), but we’ve crossed paths many times – hung out, chatted. To me, it’s kind of like fighting a brother and me, I’ve got two brothers and we fight all the time. We both know it’s business and we’ll be friends before and after the fight; now we just get to punch each other in the face.”