The bout between Leon Edwards and Nate Diaz ended up being a crazy war from start to finish. However Stephen Thompson seems to think that Leon was holding back, and could have finished Nate at any point.
In the first ever non-title, non-main event 5 round fight, Edwards and Diaz battled across the Octagon. While Leon was cleanly winning the majority of the fight, Nate stole the show and won the night by rocking the Englishman in the final minute and a half of the contest, nearly finishing him.
While Leon won a straightforward decision, “Wonderboy” Thompson seems to think that Leon could have finished Nate. Speaking in a recent interview, the top welterweight contender explained that he thinks Leon was holding back a bit, and did not go for the finish when he could have.
“I thought it was a good fight. It was a classic fight of Nate Diaz, the durability of that guy is ridiculous,” Thompson said. “It was a really good fight, but for some reason, Edwards schooled him, I thought he schooled him, but I feel like he could’ve finished him anytime he wanted.
“I was wondering like, why is he not finishing this guy? It can’t be the fact that he was like ‘Oh I want to go all five rounds,’ because that’s not really going through your head, because you’re trying to get the fight over with and knock this guy out. But I felt like he was holding back. I felt like he could go out there and finish Nate Diaz a lot earlier in the fight, but that’s just me.”
Stephen Thompson Wants Nate Diaz To Return To 155
With this loss, Nate Diaz is 3-2 at welterweight, with his only wins being against natural lightweights in Conor McGregor and Anthony Pettis. This leads Stephen Thompson to believe that Nate would be better served dropping back down to lightweight.
The way he looks at it, Nate has the potential to put on exciting fights at 170lb. However “Wonderboy” thinks that the best avenue for success for the Stockton native is with people that are more similar to him in size.
“I thought he did better work at lightweight, for sure,” Thompson said. “I think he should go back down to lightweight for sure. I think he should go back down to 155.
“I think he’s better that way and his body’s built for it. He’s taller, he’s longer than everybody in that division. So go back to 155lb man, I think you would do better off there, for sure.”
Stephen Thompson has his own crucial welterweight matchup against Gilbert Burns at UFC 264. It will be exciting to see how he does in this bout.