“I really thought my last fight with Johny Hendricks would be the most important of my career, but there’s no doubt this one has more riding on it. I want that title shot and I was hoping to get it after Hendricks. He was the former champion and I beat him in the first round, but Rory is the most well-rounded fighter I’ve faced. He’s the No. 1 contender. He’s fought the current champion Robbie Lawler twice and he’s just a big test for me. Even though he’s a buddy of mine, it’s a huge test to prove to the UFC I deserve the title shot… After this fight they have to give it to me. If they don’t give me the title fight after beating Rory then something is wrong. I also think it’s the way I go out there and finish Rory that will play a factor. If I win a very close decision I could see a possibility of not getting the title shot, but if I go out there and finish him, it’s definitely mine. I’m not going out there looking to force the knockout, I’m just going to let it happen. I’m just going to go out there and do my thing and I’m going to get that title shot. I’m ready physically, mentally and emotionally for this fight.”
-Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson talks to Duane Finley at FloCombat.com about his UFC Fight Night 89 bout with Rory MacDonald and why it should lead to a title shot.
Penick’s Analysis: The winner of this fight has to be on a very short list for that next shot. Thompson has a better case with a win than does MacDonald simply because MacDonald was stopped by Lawler last year, but that fight was so incredible the UFC could easily sell it again. Demian Maia’s another name who belong in the conversation, and were it MacDonald to win he might have a case. However, if Thompson manages to stop MacDonald next weekend in a five round fight, following up on that win over Johny Hendricks, it should be undeniable that he’s the No. 1 contender.
[Photo (c) Joshua Dahl via USA Today Sports]
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