Stephen Thompson taking risky Rory MacDonald bout to avoid never-ending wait like Tyron Woodley

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

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

“Yeah, it is a risk. I wanted the title shot after the last fight. I felt I deserved it and could make it a great fight. I was really hoping for that. So this fight is a risk, but the way I look at it is that every fight in the top five is a risk. Yes, Rory is probably the most well-rounded guy in that top five, before the champion. He’s got great boxing, amazing jiu-jitsu. This is a very hard fight.  But I also didn’t want to sit around and wait for a fight. You look at Tyron Woodley – he’s the only guy in front of me and he’s been waiting for that title shot. I don’t even know when he’s going to fight, again. I don’t know if he is playing hardball, if the UFC is playing hardball, but I didn’t want to deal with that. I’d rather fight and take a risk than have to wait around and go back and forth like [Woodley] has had to.”

-Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson talks to about why he decided to take a tough fight against Rory MacDonald this June.

Penick’s Analysis: With so many options at the top of the division, it’s only reasonable that a fight like this would come together. It’s risky for both, though there could be more upside for MacDonald given he’s already lost a title fight. Thompson’s got a potential title fight in his future, but has more to lose in this matchup than MacDonald, and it’s going to be a really interesting fight in Ottawa this June. It’s great that we’re getting five rounds for it, but clearly he’s putting his spot in line in jeopardy by taking a fight like this. Whether it pays off or not, it’s great for fans that it’s come together.

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

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