UFC welterweight contender Colby Covington thinks that Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson shouldn’t be anywhere near the welterweight title picture, regardless of how his upcoming fight goes with Gilbert Burns at UFC 264.

Covington is still waiting on contract negotiations for a potential welterweight title rematch with Kamaru Usman. Thompson has emerged in the top-five after an impressive performance against Geoff Neal late last year.

Since being knocked out by Anthony Pettis, Thompson has rebounded in a big way with back-to-back wins. He is one of the few atop the UFC welterweight division who hasn’t fought against Usman yet and has been calling for a shot for months.

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Covington fell to Usman at UFC 245 and won in his return to the octagon against former champion Tyron Woodley shortly thereafter. However, it’s safe to say that Covington doesn’t think Thompson has much stock when figuring out who should be Usman’s next title challenger.

“He’s gonna get hurt, for sure,” Covington said of Thompson. “He’s gonna come back for a paycheck, and these guys don’t know when to leave. You’ve got to know when it’s your time to hang it up. Your time has passed, you’re gonna get really hurt if you want to stay in this. But some guys want to take a paycheck to ruin their health.”

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“He’s had, what, two or three title shots? He’s had more title shots than anyone in this division. He got destroyed by Woodley. He got dropped, bloody. Man, the guy’s a bum. I don’t know why he’s trying to talk like he deserves a title shot.”

Covington is widely expected to be the next opponent for Usman, who knocked out his former teammate Jorge Masvidal back at UFC 261 earlier this year. Covington has easily provided the toughest test to date for Usman despite falling by fifth-round knockout.

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Thompson vs. Burns at UFC 264 is sure to be entertaining, and definitely a standup battle in its own right. A spectacular performance by either Burns or Thompson could give them the next title shot, despite UFC president Dana White already committing to Covington as the next title challenger.

Do you think Stephen Thompson deserves a title shot with a win over Gilbert Burns?

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Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.