Stephen Thompson believes UK fighter Leon Edwards should fight Kamaru Usman next. He’s not so sure about Jorge Masvidal. Thompson gave his take on the welterweight title situation in a recent interview with MMA Fighting.
“Leon Edwards is on an 8 fight winning streak, wow,” he said. “So he could possibly be fighting for the title. I know everyone’s talking Masvidal, but he’s had two wins and his third loss was me at MSG. I think there are other people more deserving of the title, but he’s put on some good shows and knocked out some good people so you never know.”
“Rocky” Edwards lost to the current champion, Kamaru Usman at a UFC Fight Night four years ago. Since then he has developed his skill and hasn’t lost a fight. His most recent win was against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC San Antonio last month.
“He’s doing very well in the division (Edwards), so I think at the top, maybe him,” said Thompson. “I think under him, maybe Masvidal. He’s got some great knockout, .but it really depends what the UFC and fans want. And the UFC is going towards what the fans want nowadays, so it could be Masvidal but I think Leon Edwards has definitely proven he deserves a shot at the title.”
On the flip-side, Colby Covington dismantled Robbie Lawler at UFC Newark, breaking the record for most attempted strikes in a single fight (541) and securing a unanimous victory. He is is in prime position to fight the “Nigerian Nightmare” for the title. The pair have been at odds for a while and have had various altercations outside the Octagon including one on UFC Newark’s ESPN post-fight show.
Covington has called out Usman for faking injuries and is pushing towards a title fight against his rival.
If Covington secures the title shot, this means a potential Edwards vs. Masvidal matchup could be on the cards. The pair are both coming off strong wins and have a mutual disdain for each other.
Stephen Thompson said he plans to return to the Octagon at Madison Square Garden and has his eyes on a potential opponent.
“Everything’s feeling good, back to training hard full force and hopefully [I’ll] be fighting again at Madison Square Garden, November,” he said. “Don’t know who yet, but we will see.”
“I know me and RDA (Dos Anjos) are both coming off a loss, so might be a good time for him to heal up and make it happen for MSG. So someone in the top five. I’m getting ready to go out there and do it again.”
Who do you think will get the opportunity to fight Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title? Are you with Stephen Thompson on this one?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/5/2019.