After suffering the first knockout loss of his career, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson will miss out on an opportunity to fight at UFC Greenville, a location he’s always wanted the UFC to visit, but now he’s got new goals set for his comeback.
Speaking to media in Chicago during last weekend’s UFC 238 festivities, Thompson spoke about how he’d like to return in the fall of this year at Madison Square Garden and why he’d love to fight a “legend” in Nate Diaz.
“We’re looking at probably fall, I would love to get on that Madison Square Garden card, it’d be awesome, that’s like my home away from home anyway. Giving the summer off to get my brain to heal up and my body to heal up as well. I know a lot of guys who get knocked out and try to jump back out there, which is what I wanted to do, then barely get clipped and they’re just not the same anymore. So, I’m just giving myself some time to heal up.”
When asked about his most recent opponent, Anthony Pettis’ next scheduled fight against Nate Diaz, Thompson says Pettis must’ve lit a fire under Diaz with his callout of the Stockton fighter.
“I don’t know if it’s the fact that Anthony called him out and Nate hasn’t had a fight in I don’t know how long,” he said. “Yeah, whatever Anthony did must’ve lit a fire under Nate cause he’s fighting. I think I’m rooting for Anthony because he beat me last and I’ve been a fan of his for a while anyways. I think Nate is a relentless guy and that tires his opponent out, it’s going to be a great fight.”
Upon his return, “Wonderboy” is looking for an opponent worth-while, targeting a top-5 opponent, but also eyeing a potential showdown with Nate Diaz.
“I was actually wanting someone, anybody in the Top-5 to be honest with you. RDA, Ponzinibbio, I don’t know if Till has anything going on, but anybody in that top group would be awesome. I’d love to fight Nate Diaz, he’s a legend of the game for sure, I think I’m older than him but still, he’s a legend of the game. He’s been in the game a lot longer than I have. The dude is tough, I like his mentality, I like where his head is at when it comes to the art of war, so that’d be a very cool fight I think.”
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This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/12/2019