UFC reportedly discussing welterweight contender bout between Rory MacDonald and Stephen Thompson

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

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

A highly intriguing welterweight matchup may be in the works, as it was reported on Wednesday’s UFC Tonight program that the UFC is discussing a fight between Rory MacDonald and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.

MacDonald hasn’t fought since the absolutely brutal war he had with Robbie Lawler for the UFC Welterweight Championship last July. MacDonald was actually leading into the fifth round of that fight on a couple scorecards, but Lawler had come on strong late, damaging MacDonald’s nose badly before landing a crushing final punch that sent the challenger to the canvas.

Likely to become a contender again upon his return, MacDonald presents a second straight significant opportunity for “Wonderboy.” The 33-year-old picked up his sixth straight win in the UFC last month, taking out former UFC Welterweight Champ Johny Hendricks in three and a half minutes at UFC Fight Night 82 in Las Vegas.

The bout is not yet set, and there’s no word on a planned date and location at the moment, but it would represent a significant welterweight contender matchup were it to come together.

Penick’s Analysis: This would be a fantastic fight for any card, so hopefully it can find a date and location soon. Thompson’s already got a case to be a title challenger, but given the numerous options available for Robbie Lawler’s next fight – including what could still be a huge money UFC 200 fight with Conor McGregor – he’s got to keep himself busy and competitive in the mix. A win over MacDonald gives him two absolutely huge victories, and very well could put him into the No. 1 contender slot to face Lawler or whomever winds up taking the title from him should that happen. Meanwhile, a win over Thompson means a ton more for MacDonald given Thompson’s win over Johny Hendricks, so it moves him right back into contention as well. Lots to like in this one.

[Photo (c) Stephen R. Sylvanie via USA Today Sports]

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