Stephen Thompson knows he has what it takes to beat UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley.
Thompson and Woodley initially met in the co-main event of UFC 205 from Madison Square Garden in November. The Fight Of The Night ended in a Majority Draw and talks of a rematch immediately began after the razor close bout’s conclusion.
The pair then rematched at UFC 209 last month on pay-per-view (PPV), where Woodley took home a controversial Majority Decision win. Coming off back-to-back title bouts in which he was unsuccessful in capturing the 170-pound crown, Thompson will again have to earn his way back into the title picture.
‘Wonderboy’ recently spoke to Submission Radio to discuss the possibility of a third bout against ‘The Chosen One’, and claims he and everyone else knows he can beat him (quotes via Bloody Elbow):
“I feel I can go out there and I know I can beat him,” Thompson said. “I mean just in the last two fights, I know if I put forth just a little bit more effort and actually go out there and just do what I know I can do, just fight, you know, I know I can beat him. I know I can do it. And the fans do too.”
“Of course, you’re out there being cautious, but sometimes you gotta grit your teeth, bite down on that mouthpiece and go. And I didn’t do that in the last fight. And that’s something that I know if I go out there and do, then I’ll ended up winning. But the fight happened twice and I’ll fight who I gotta fight next and we’ll do it again.”
Woodley and Thompson’s UFC 209 contest nearly ended in the fifth round when the welterweight champ landed another hellacious right hand. ‘Wonderboy’ was able to survive the onslaught and make it to the judges’ scorecards, but not without suffering a knee injury first:
“Well in the fifth round he actually blitzed me in the fifth round and I ended up falling down. And as I was getting back up against the cage, he ends up smoking me with a right hand, back of the head. I ended up dropping right then,” Thompson explained. “And the way I dropped, I fell back over my right knee kind of at an awkward angle. And I don’t know if you go back and watch it, but it ended up falling over the back of my right knee and we believe we have an MCL tear – not an ACL tear, but an MCL tear. And hopefully that’s all it is.”
“I’m pretty sure the ACL’s intact, just making sure there’s no meniscus tears or anything like that. But it’s sore, still a little swollen, but you know, I’m itching to just get back out there and train and this is what I do, man. I do this everyday and this is kind of hard for me just to kind of sit back and watch everybody else train. We’ve got guys from my gym that have fights coming up, so I’d like to be there for them as well.”