Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson Dismisses Khamzat Chimaev Matchup- Says He Doesn’t Deserve a Top Fight

Published 12/04/2020, 6:30 AM EST


Stephen Thompson is set to return for the last UFC card of the year 2020. He will end his long layoff, having not fought since his UFC 244 win over Vicente Luque. At one point, there were rumors of  ‘Wonderboy’ fighting rising star Khamzat Chimaev; however, he will square off against Geoff Neal.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In an interview with theScore, Thompson dismissed those possibilities and clarified why Chimaev doesn’t deserve a top fight yet.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: Khamzat Chimaev of Czechia celebrates after his TKO victory over Rhys McKee of Northern Ireland in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020, in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Thompson said, “I think it might’ve been Khamzat’s manager, Ali (Abdelaziz), kind of throwing some stuff out there. I got on Instagram one night and I saw it kind of blew up: “Wonderboy’s fighting Khamzat, Wonderboy’s fighting Khamzat.” They were all foreign media outlets, and I’m like, “What? What is this?” I had no idea what it was, and I called my manager, and they were like, “I have no idea what this is.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

He seemed disgusted at the idea of a former title challenger like him fighting someone with just one fight in the welterweight division. ‘Wonderboy’ added, “Even then, it still wouldn’t be a fight that I would want. The guy’s had one fight at welterweight (in the UFC). One fight. What gives this guy the right to jump over everybody that worked their behinds off to get to where they’re at? It just didn’t make sense.” 

Stephen Thompson wanted to fight Leon Edwards

Wonderboy wanted to fight another top contender in Leon Edwards. But that fight was never made official. Instead, the UFC booked Leon Edwards vs Khamzat Chimaev as the main event of the UFC card on December 19.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Due to Edward’s positive COVID test though, that fight has been scrapped and now Thompson vs Neal is the new main event. Edwards too was reluctant to take the fight against Chimaev. But, the UFC removed him from the rankings due to inactivity and ‘Rocky’ may have accepted the fight to have one match in 2020.

Thompson expressed his anguish about the UFC rankings. He believes Chimaev doesn’t yet deserve to be ranked in the division, as the Russian-born fighter has fought only once in welterweight.

Thompson fought twice for the belt against then-champion Tyron Woodley. He will look to use his fight against Geoff Neal to move to another title shot soon. Can ‘Wonderboy’ close out the year with a win?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Apratim Banerjee

829 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT