“Wonderboy” gunning for title shot with win over Hendricks, thinks people want to see him fight Lawler

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Stephen Thompson (photo credit Stephen R. Sylvanie © USA Today Sports)

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson meets former UFC Welterweight Champ Johny Hendricks on Saturday night in his second straight UFC main event, and he’s making his case for getting a title fight with a victory.

In an interview with FoxSports.com ahead of UFC Fight Night 82, Thompson talked about that shot being on his mind, and why a fight with Robbie Lawler is something everyone should want to see.

“That’s always in the back of my head. Depending on how I go out there and finish Johny Hendricks, I think yeah, I think I deserve to step out there for the title,” Thompson said. “Just be confident in what I want and let Dana White and those guys know ‘hey give the new guy a crack at it.’ The top three or four guys have already had their chance, why not give the South Carolina boy his shot?

“… [Lawler’s] a striker, I’m a striker. That’s what people want to see. People want to see fighters get punched in the face. They want to see a spectacular knockout and that fight has it written all over it so who wouldn’t want to see that fight? I think it would be awesome.”

Penick’s Analysis: If he beats Hendricks that will be six straight wins in the welterweight division for Thompson, and it would be hard not to put him on the short list of contenders. Things are jumbled and unclear with a number of 170 lb. contenders in the mix, but Thompson would have a very good case for a title fight should he beat a former champion, and do so convincingly. And he’s completely correct on a Lawler fight, as stylistically that would be one of the more intriguing fights for Lawler, and would almost assuredly be one of the more entertaining title fights of the year. He’s not likely getting that shot next, but a win Saturday night would be huge.

[Stephen R. Sylvanie via USA Today Sports]

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