“That Would Be an Awesome Fight” – Stephen Thompson Opens Up on a Potential Match With Israel Adesanya

Published 08/09/2021, 12:44 PM EDT
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 01: Stephen Thompson poses on the scale during the UFC 244 weigh-ins at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden on November 1, 2019 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Stephen Thompson is one of the best welterweight contenders in the UFC. Fighting pro since 2010, he has never changed his division in his entire MMA career. However, ‘Wonderboy’ is open to moving up to the middleweight division for a potential fight against a well-known UFC superstar.

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As of August 2021, Thompson currently holds the #4 position in the UFC welterweight rankings. In his UFC career, he has defeated several elite UFC athletes, such as Vicente Luque, Robert Whittaker, Jorge Masvidal, to name a few. 

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He is probably 2-4 consecutive wins away from getting a title shot. Thus, the right thing for ‘Wonderboy’ is to stick to the welterweight division to become a potential title challenger for the second time.

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In a recent interview with James Lynch, Lynch asked ‘Wonderboy’ whether he will move up to the middleweight division. That is when he revealed the only reason he will put on weight.

Thompson said – “Everybody has been asking me that, you know, ‘I wanna see you versus ‘Stylebender” (Israel Adesanya). I think that would be an awesome fight. If we had, we like, made a deal to just keep it, which I don’t think he would ever, you know, shoot for takedown. But I think that would be an awesome fight for sure, me and ‘Stylebender'”.

It is clear by now that ‘Wonderboy’ is open to moving up to the middleweight division only for a potential fight against the current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 27: Israel Adesanya of Nigeria celebrates after defeating Paulo Costa of Brazil in their middleweight championship bout during UFC 253 inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on September 27, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
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Stephen Thompson on Robert Whittaker “killing himself” to make weight for their fight

Robert Whittaker started his professional MMA career as a welterweight contender before he moved to the middleweight division. Even as a welterweight, ‘The Reaper’ had a huge physique. Meanwhile, Thompson was and always has been a natural welterweight. 

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 24: Robert Whittaker of New Zealand poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 24, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The pair clashed at UFC 170 on February 22, 2014, where Thompson emerged victorious via a first-round TKO. For their bout, ‘Wonderboy’ made the weight easily, while he believes it wasn’t the same case for Whittaker.

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In the same interview, Thompson said – “Robert Whittaker is, he is thick. He is a big dude in a big barrel chest. He killed himself to get to 170, and I make 170 fairly easy”.

Whittaker now is fighting in the middleweight division, where he is doing great. He currently holds the #1 position in the UFC middleweight rankings. Moreover, Whittaker is likely to go up against the current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya for the title in his next fight.

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Will Stephen Thompson vs. Israel Adesanya ever come to fruition? What do you make of what ‘Wonderboy’ had to say about Whittaker?

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Arman Khan

137 articles

Arman Khan is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He began following combat sports when Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor competed in 'The Money Fight' in 2017. 'The Notorious' attracted Arman to the UFC and he became an ardent fan of professional fighting as he could draw parallels with the action from his combat sports experience and break down techniques such as striking and striking defense lucidly for the casual fans.

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