UFC welterweight contender Stephen Thompson says the only bout he would move up to 185lbs for is a fight against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
Thompson is one of the top-10 welterweights in the world and has been for the last half-decade. He has a 10-4-1 overall record in the UFC, which includes wins over Jorge Masvidal, Robert Whittaker, Johny Hendricks, and Rory MacDonald. In his last fight, he defeated Vincente Luque at UFC 244 in what was a “Fight of the Night” performance.
The problem with Thompson at the moment is that, despite being ranked No. 6 in the world at 170lbs, he doesn’t seem likely to be getting a title shot anytime soon in what is a stacked division. Thompson previously received two title shots and was unable to defeat Tyron Woodley both times. Right now, Thompson is behind Gilbert Burns, Masvidal, Colby Covington, and Leon Edwards in regards to who gets the next welterweight title shot. That’s why it’s worth asking if Thompson would be willing to get a fresh start at 185lbs.
Speaking to Severe MMA, Thompson was asked if there’s any way he would consider moving up a weight class. “Wonderboy” said there is a chance, but only if it’s a title shot against Adesanya in what would be a fight between two of the best strikers in MMA.
I asked Wonderboy about going up to middleweight. He's not *totally* against it, but says it would be tough. Seems open to an Adesanya fight. 👇 pic.twitter.com/zZgQk1nOyY
— Seán Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA) June 11, 2020
“You know, I always told myself if I ever got the title and Robert Whittaker was still the champion at that weight — you know, since I faced him before — that I would be cool to go up and fight him again,” Thompson said.
“But to be honest with you, I’m not a big welterweight. I walk around at 190, 195. You know, when I spar and train with guys like Chris Weidman whose a 185er, just to feel the power and strength of these guys is ridiculous. When he grabs me by my wrist I feel like a five-year-old, I can’t get away. So to face guys like him in that division, because I’m not a big guy, I would literally have to put on some muscle and weight to move up to that middleweight class,” continued Thompson.
“As of right now (no), but in the future, I don’t know. I mean if Adesanya is still the champion — if I get that title, that could be a possibility, just to mix things up.”
Would you like to see Stephen Thompson fight Israel Adesanya?