- Stephen Thompson opened up about his canceled UFC 291 bout following Michael Pereira’s missed weight
- “Wonderboy” made it clear that he still wants to compete for the title
Stephen Thompson is not pleased with how things played out for him in Salt Lake City as his UFC 291 bout against Michael Pereira got canceled. “Wonderboy” and his team opted not to proceed with the fight after Pereira missed weight by three pounds during the fight’s official weigh-in.
Wonderboy sent a powerful message to everybody
Clearly devastated by what happened, Thompson issued a powerful statement on social media. According to “Wonderboy,” the cancellation of his fight with Pereira should serve as a lesson to all fighters who miss weight but “often allowed to fight with a significant competitive advantage.”
“Unfortunately my fight with Michel Pereira will no longer be going forward. First off, I’m sorry to all the fans who were looking forward to my fight. I’m gutted for my coaches, my family and all the people who helped me throughout camp to be ready and prepared to go to battle. I made weight this morning as I have done every fight during my 11+ year UFC career. My opponent did not. This isn’t the first time I’ve had an opponent miss weight and given how that played out previously, myself and my team felt that it’s ultimately not smart for us to move forward with this fight. At my age and given what I’ve accomplished in this sport, I’m not here to be a gatekeeper, I’m here to fight for and win a UFC Welterweight Title. When I step into the Octagon, no one is in there but me and my opponent. This isn’t a videogame and both of us are putting our health and our careers on the line. If I don’t finish my opponent, I risk losing a decision, even if it’s a split decision as what happened when I fought Darren Till and almost the same exact scenario played out back then. Fighters who miss weight face far too few consequences and are often allowed to fight with a significant competitive advantage. This appears to be happening more and more these days. Hopefully the decision to not move forward with the fight will discourage others from missing weight in the future. I also hope to encourage fighters that face this situation to follow suit and not allow this to happen to them,” Thompson explained.
— “Wonderboy” Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) July 28, 2023
Thompson also clarified that he would be back “ASAP” but at the same time, he wants to make sure that he’s getting the best fight suited for his attempt to make another run for the title.
“I’m healthy and I will look to get back in the Octagon ASAP BUT on a level playing field as I continue to pursue my quest of winning the UFC Welterweight title,” he continued.
The UFC decided to promote the heavyweight bout between Derrick Lewis and Marcos Rogerio de Lima from the prelims undercard to the UFC 291 PPV main card to fill up the spot Thompson vs. Pereira left.
Still deadly at 40
Thompson turned 40 in February but he closed out the year 2022 with a bang, having finished UFC rising star Kevin Holland via TKO at UFC Orlando. He currently is the No. 7 welterweight contender and is still optimistic about getting back into title contention.
It can be recalled that “Wonderboy” already expressed his disapproval of Colby Covington becoming the most likely next title challenger. But with reigning champion Leon Edwards still not officially booked for his next title defense yet, Thompson could still hope to secure a fight with another top contender and make a case for a title shot.