Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson will headline the final card of the UFC’s 2020 campaign when he fights Geoff Neal in a big Welterweight match up.
This fight was originally supposed to be the co-main event, the original main event was booked for Leon Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev, Chimaev a fighter who was gone 3-0 in the UFC since making his debut this year and becoming a star in doing so.
However, new headliner Thompson isn’t happy that Chimaev was in a position to be headlining a card in the first place. (H/T MMA Fighting.)
Speaking to MMA Junkie Thompson said: “I think he was ranked No. 15, which doesn’t make sense to me, I know he’s had one fight in the welterweight division, and his opponent (Rhys McKee) is 0-2 right now and normally a lightweight, a 155er, so it just doesn’t make sense how this guy can jump past everybody who’s worked their behinds off to get to where they’re at, and now he’s ranked No. 15 fighting the No. 3 guy, I believe. It’s just ridiculous to me.”
Stephen Thompson went on to compare how hard him and original headliner, Leon Edwards, who had to pull out of the fight due to a positive Covid-19 test, had to work to get where they are.
“I had to fight through murderer’s row to get to where I’m at and so did Leon Edwards. He was on a (eight-fight) winning streak to get to where he’s at. I had to fight a slew of guys, I mean tough opponents. Robert Whittaker, Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald, Johny Hendricks to get to where I’m at, and then this guy just jumps past everybody. I think it’s a slap in the face to everybody who’s worked their butts off.”
Chimaev set the record for the quickest turnaround from fights in the modern UFC era in July when he beat John Phillips and Rhys McKee within ten days of each other, he then went on to KO Gerald Meerschaert, none of the fighters were ranked which led to criticism from Thompson.
Thompson also went on to say he believes Chimaev will get a title shot if he beats Edwards, which is being targeted to headline the UFC’s January 20th card. Thompson also believes Chimaev is being pushed to fill the void that Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s retirement will have left.
“Guaranteed he’s probably gonna get a title shot if he beats Leon Edwards, and I kinda called this,” Thompson said. “I was wondering why they were pushing Khamzat so hard, and I was like watch Khabib retire, because they’re from the same neck of the woods, they got to please that market, so it kinda makes sense why they’re pushing him so hard.”
Do you agree with Thompson or is Khamzat Chimaev the real deal?