The welterweight division crowned a new champion in Tyron Woodley and number one contender Stephen Thompson is ready for his shot at gold. Unfortunately for Thompson, the newly crowned champion is not interested in fighting him and instead, has his sights on “money” fights.
Woodley shocked the world by knocking out Robbie Lawler in the first round last month at UFC 201. Thompson, who spoke multiple times about a match-up with Lawler was pretty surprised himself with the outcome.
“Yes 100%, Robbie seemed a little off. Not sure what was up. He’s a champ though, he’ll be back!”
Thompson fought a month before Woodley when he picked apart former title challenger Rory MacDonald. Although the finish didn’t materialise for him, he was pretty satisfied with his performance.
“My game plan for this fight was no secret, keep it standing,” Thompson said. “I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t finish him. He is one of the best in the world so he wasn’t going to be easy that’s for sure.”
His performance should have undoubtedly set up the next title fight but much to Thompson’s frustration Woodley is just not interested. However, he remains optimistic that his time will come.
“Well I can’t say I’m not a little frustrated but I’m confident the UFC will give me the title shot at the right time,” Thompson said. “They know what they are doing!”
“Wonderboy” who’s currently riding an impressive 7 fight win streak, holds a dominant first round finish over former champion Johny Hendricks and former title challenger, Rory MacDonald. He is the clear cut number one contender that many believe should have challenged for the belt even before Woodley.
Woodley, who many people believed didn’t deserve the next crack at the title, vented his frustration over the rankings system and how he’s the rightful next contender. In an interview with Bleacher Report last year, he shared his thoughts on the rankings system and why he deserves a title shot.
“Why do we have a rankings system, and people risking their spots in the rankings system by taking hard fights, if they aren’t going to get a chance to fight for a world title? That doesn’t make sense to me.”
Although Thompson is ranked at number 2, Woodley has his sights on big money fights versus the likes of the returning Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz which contradicts his previous sentiments.
“He says he’s looking for “the money” which may be true but I think maybe he’s ducking me a little bit also,” Thompson said. “Step up and fight the number one contender, just like you expected to be able to do when you were in this position.”
Right after his win, Woodley joined the FS1 crew for an interview where Wonderboy happened to be on the desk analyzing that night. Thompson congratulated the new champ and politely called him out but Woodley snubbed him. Despite being denied, Wonderboy enjoyed the analyst experience and doesn’t rule out any future appearances.
“It was a very cool experience for sure. Working with Karyn, Kenny, Dom, Jay and DC is a blast. They all know their stuff. It is a very interesting gig for sure. Right now my focus is winning that UFC Welterweight title. After that, we’ll see”
A few days ago in an interview, UFC president Dana White assured everyone that Thompson is next in line and that Nick Diaz would not be receiving a title shot upon return. Wonderboy tweeted his excitement over the news however no official announcement has been made.
BOOYAH!!!!! Thank you Dana White! Thank you UFC! Extreme Thank you to all the fans that supported me and this… https://t.co/yE5EiemPjy
— Stephen Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) August 12, 2016
Woodley quickly responded by denying White’s comments which left everyone in a state of confusion. The champ did however post on Instagram that his “champ camp” has commenced meaning he has an opponent and perhaps a date. Whether it’s Wonderboy or not, we should find out soon who his first title defense will be.
Funny how there is an official fight announced and I 1) Havent spoken to anyone 2) Agreed on opponent or date 3) Signed a bout agreement. 😭😭
— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) August 12, 2016
Whether it’s a title shot or a fight against former champion Robbie Lawler, Thompson is confident that he’d match up well against the both of them.
“I’m not sure what I’d do at this point,” Thompson said on his next move. “I’m a nightmare for most of the guys with my Karate style. I think I’ll match really well.