Stephen Thompson is not expecting the title to change hands from Kamaru Usman if he faces Colby Covington next.
Although not official, Covington is expected to get a rematch with Usman for the welterweight title later this year with UFC president Dana White remaining adamant about it.
While Covington only has one win since losing to Usman back in December 2019, the competitiveness of the fight was enough to give him the next shot in the eyes of the fans and the UFC.
However, Thompson only sees one winner.
“Oh man, definitely Usman,” Thompson told Helen Yee of his pick. “Usman’s got his number. He’s evolving, he just knocked out one of the best strikers in the division, Jorge Masvidal. So he’s getting better everywhere, he’s just a better version than the last time Colby faced him.”
Thompson even rates Usman as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the sport today.
“As of right now with the way he’s going, the head on his shoulders, he’s a great champion, I believe right now, Kamaru Usman is the pound-for-pound [best fighter],” Thompson said. “But who will always be my favorite welterweight is GSP but I think Kamaru’s got it.”
Thompson Targeting Perfect Performance Against Burns
If that’s the case, anyone who beats Usman would be the new pound-for-pound best fighter in essence.
“Wonderboy” is hoping it’ll be him as he feels he could leapfrog Covington to get the next shot with a perfect performance over Gilbert Burns, who he faces in the co-main event of UFC 264 this weekend.
“I got to go out there and I got to let the UFC and the fans know that I deserve that next title shot,” Wonderboy said in a separate interview with The Schmo. “I got to put a perfect performance, an exciting performance.
“… All I predict is my hands being raised at the end of the fight. I’m gonna put on a show.”
Thompson is currently on a two-fight winning streak following impressive wins over Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal.