UFC rated welterweight Stephen Thompson is confident that if he manages to split the octagon with Kamaru Usman, then the reigning champion of the division will face great difficulties.
Stephen Thompson says he’s a “bad matchup” for UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman if the two ever end up fighting inside the Octagon.
Thompson is the No. 4 ranked welterweight in the UFC and he returns to the cage this summer when he takes on Gilbert Burns in the co-main event of UFC 264 next month. Thompson has made it clear that he wants to fight for the belt should he get past Burns, and considering he’s the highest-ranked fighter who the champion hasn’t fought yet, there is certainly a good chance that “Wonderboy” could be fighting for the belt should he get past Burns in July. If Thompson gets his shot at Usman, he believes he can win the belt.
Speaking to Submission Radio, Thompson explained why he believes he is a bad matchup for the champion Usman.
“I think I would be a bad matchup for him. Yes, he’s a phenomenal wrestler and he’s got cardio for days, and now he’s knocking out one of the best strikers in the division, Jorge Masvidal. So, his striking is improved. And that’s what makes this fight so fun for me, is knowing that I’m fighting just the best version of Kamaru Usman. Obviously, I gotta get past Gilbert Burns. Not looking past him at all. But yeah, I know that’s there, I know that’s at the top of the list. But I got one guy that I’m focused on right now, and that’s in three weeks, Gilbert Burns, baby,” Thompson said (h/t MMAMania.com).
“I know that a good win over Gilbert Burns will put me up there with those guys. And like you said, I mean, Usman, everybody wants me to fight him cause I’m the only guy that hasn’t fought him in the top five.”