Wonderboy Wants Fight with dos Anjos

Rafael dos Anjos dominated a former UFC welterweight champion in Robbie Lawler in the title eliminator main event of last week’s UFC on FOX event. With that win, dos Anjos has most likely set himself up for a title bout with current champion Tyron Woodley.

But Woodley is currently sidelined after undergoing shoulder surgery, but the former UFC lightweight champion may have another challenger on the horizon for the number one contender’s spot. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, who fought Woodley twice in unsuccessful attempts to capture the UFC’s 170-pound title, suggests he and dos Anjos should fight with Woodley out of the picture for now.

Of course, there are many in the MMA community who may not want Thompson to have the chance to be next in line for the title shot, despite currently being ranked No. 1 in the UFC’s welterweight rankings. While the first bout between Woodley and Thompson at UFC 205 earned Fight of the Night honors for that event, the rematch in the main event of UFC 209 was universally panned for a lot of inactivity on both ends — the intensity from their first fight just was not there.

“I’m still ranked No. 1, he’s No. 2 right now, so I think it would be an awesome fight,” Thompson told MMA Fighting. “I know there are people out there saying they don’t want to see Thompson-Woodley 3. Of course, the last fight with Tyron wasn’t too exciting, but the one before that I thought it was pretty intense and very exciting, we got Fight of the Night, I remember that.”

I’m just trying not to wait out too long. My goal is RDA and hopefully, we’ll get that, somebody in the top-5 would be legit, but I want to hold on to that No. 1 spot. The guy that’s ranked No. 2 is wanting that title shot, for me coming up in the ranks I had to beat the No. 1 in order to get that title shot, which was Rory MacDonald at the time.

Thompson has been ravaged by injuries in recent times. He was out for approximately six months following a knee injury suffered after the second fight with Woodley. Thompson recently suffered injuries to his thumbs following his win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217 last month.

I’m trying not to stay out for too long. I know if I wait on that fight, it could be almost a year depending on the recovery of Tyron. So I wouldn’t want to wait that long, if possible. I know [dos Anjos is] wanting to wait for that Tyron fight.

Thompson says he expects to be back by March and would be willing to fight dos Anjos whenever and wherever once he’s fully recovered.

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