It is not often that you hear of fighters having beef with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. However Gilbert Burns almost fought him in the cage once, before their scheduled meeting at UFC 264.
As much as the attention is on Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor ahead of UFC 264, the co-main event bout between Burns and Thompson is just as intriguing. There is an argument to be made that the winner of this bout could be next for a title shot, especially if it is “Wonderboy.”
While this is not a matchup built on bad blood, there was apparently a time that Gilbert wanted to fight Thompson outside of competition, all the way back in 2019. Speaking in a recent interview with MMA On Point, the Brazilian revealed that after Thompson beat Vicente Luque at UFC 244, a man that Gilbert cornered for that fight, “Durinho” was so mad that he wanted to fight the NMF right there on the spot.
“I don’t even like to say this… but I got very close to fighting Wonderboy when I got in the Octagon, but I was just like… I was just so mad at the guy,” Burns said.
“I wanna beat this guy up right now. Then Wonderboy came up to me and he says ‘Hey! I’m a huge fan of you! You’re doing great right now!’ and he wanted to shake my hand and want to be so nice… and I was just like… I shook his hand and looked at his eyes…
“I said nothing, if I said something, we would fight,” Burns added. “Like I didn’t say nothing, I just shook his hand, look in his eyes, like, so mad.”
Gilbert Burns vs Stephen Thompson Breakdown
While this bad blood certainly did not last, Gilbert Burns will have his chance to fight Stephen Thompson at UFC 264, two years later. This fight has some massive stakes attached for both men, as they look to keep their place in the welterweight title picture.
Gilbert is coming off a loss to the champ, where he was nearly able to finish Kamaru Usman with strikes in the first, before getting TKOd in the second. As for Wonderboy, the 38-year old is looking to make it three in a row in order to get his first shot at the Nigerian Nightmare.
With so much on the line here, it will be interesting to see how Gilbert Burns vs Stephen Thompson plays out. One thing is for sure though, and that is this will be an exciting matchup.