Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson is going all in on a proposed welterweight showdown with former world champion Kamaru Usman.
‘Wonderboy’ was originally scheduled to step inside the Octagon at UFC 291 for a clash with rising contender Michel Pereira. It was a fight that every fan was chomping at the bit to see given their unique offensive styles. Unfortunately, the contest never came to fruition as Pereira stepped on the scale three pounds over the limit for a welterweight non-title fight. As a result, Thompson declined to move forward with the bout, and the fight was scrapped from the card.
As it turns out, that may have been the best possible scenario for Thompson as ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ recently called for a clash with ‘Wonderboy’ and suggested that their fight is the only one that makes sense for him right now.
Speaking with TMZ Sports regarding the call-out, Stephen Thompson is 100% on board for a potential showdown with the top-ranked contender in the division.
“Man, I did hear that because my phone got blown up with what he was saying. Everybody on social media was like, ‘Man, he said this, he said this,’ and I was hoping something positive will come out of this past weekend,” Thompson said. “And to hear that news, he’s always been somebody… Those guys in the top three who I’ve never faced before and Kamaru Usman has always been a guy I just never had the opportunity to face off against.
“And for him to say he was willing to fight and that the fight makes sense at this point is awesome. I’m all for it, to be honest with you. I am all for it. To be able to have that shot at the number one seed, are you kidding me? And a good athlete. A good person in Kamaru Usman, I’m all for it. I would give guys like him… I would love to battle with those… I love battling those types of guys. The guys with professionalism. Those guys that are good people inside and outside of the Octagon. We’ve hung out a few times and we’ve always been very cordial, but that would be awesome, man.”
‘Wonderboy’ Likes the Idea of Fighting Kamaru Usman at MSG in November
As for when their bout could potentially go down, ‘Wonderboy’ has his sights set on November’s 30th-anniversary spectacular inside the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden.
“MSG or whenever he wants to do it. I’m looking at MSG right now,” ‘Wonderboy’ continued. “You know, the body cut and the training camp that we go through is taxing on the body. We do more damage in training camps than we actually do in the fight. So just healing up from it, MSG is what I’m looking at. I hope he is too because that makes sense. That would be awesome.”
Undefeated for nearly a decade, Kamaru Usman came up short against Leon Edwards in back-to-back bouts between 2022 and 2023. Determined to get back to his winning ways, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is ready to knock a few fights off his bucket list, and it looks as though it will all start with Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.