‘Scary Opponent’- Stephen Thompson Breaks Down a Potential Fight With Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya

Published 08/15/2021, 2:46 PM EDT
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 04: Stephen Thompson celebrates his victory over Jorge Masvidal in their welterweight bout during the UFC 217 event at Madison Square Garden on November 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC welterweight elite and MMA veteran Stephen Thompson recently detailed how he matches up against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. The latter, who is still undefeated in the middleweight division, has already joined the list of all-time greats in a brief UFC career.

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Thompson, who recently suffered a defeat at the hands of Gilbert Burns at UFC 264, hailed Adesanya’s striking game and detailed what sets him apart from others. “I think it would be very fun,” Thompson said. “I think it would be an interesting match-up. Win or lose with that, just stepping out and fighting one of the best strikers in the UFC would just be amazing.”

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One thing that separates Adesanya from the rest is that even though he is winning, he never gives up on learning. The New Zealander tries to strengthen his game after every fight.

“But you know, he has got the reach, man,” Thompson added. “He has got the great timing. Scary opponent. But me being who I’m… considering myself as one of the best strikers, why not? I think that will be awesome.”

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Adesanya has steered clear of any challenge that has been thrown at him. He recently defeated Marvin Vettori in a 5 round clash at UFC 263 to further stretch his domination in the division. The Nigerian-born is expected to face Robert Whittaker in a rematch, probably at the start of next year.

How Stephen Thompson has fared in his recent fights?

As mentioned earlier, ‘Wonderboy’ (16-5) recently lost to Gilbert Burns via unanimous decision at UFC 264, headlined by the McGregor-Poirier trilogy. Prior to that, he was riding a 2 fight win streak.

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He fought Vicente ‘The Silent Assassin’ Luque at UFC 244 in November 2019. The American defeated Luque via a unanimous decision. He then fought Geoff Neal last year in December in the headliner of UFC Fight Night 183. He dominated the fighter en route to picking up a unanimous decision win.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 19: Stephen Thompson reacts after his victory over Geoff Neal in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)

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With the loss against Burns, ‘Wonderboy‘ has increased the distance between himself and the welterweight crown a bit more. At the advanced age of 38, chances of him getting a title shot remain slim.

What did you make of his assessment on a fight with Adesanya?

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

552 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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