Stephen Thompson expects Robbie Lawler to retain title at UFC 201, wants his title shot in NYC

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

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

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson established himself as the No. 1 contender in the UFC’s welterweight division on Saturday night, putting forth a one-sided effort against Rory MacDonald at UFC Fight Night 89 to follow up on a February TKO win over former champ Johny Hendricks.

Thompson’s now almost assuredly going to face off with the winner of next month’s UFC 201 main event between Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley, and after Saturday’s card he commented both on how that fight will play out, and just whom he’d like to face.

“I would rather fight Robbie Lawler, and I think Robbie Lawler is going to win it,” Thompson said at the post-fight press conference in Ottawa (via “Maybe there’s a little bit of rust there [for Woodley]. Tyron has been known to slow down in the later rounds, and Robbie Lawler, he gets stronger as the rounds go on, so I see Robbie winning that fight.

“I would love to fight [Lawler], hopefully in New York City; [that] would be a good place to do that. But yeah, I think Robbie Lawler would be the guy.”

Penick’s Analysis: Thompson-Lawler is one of the more exciting potential matchups to be made, and arguably should have been made over the Woodley fight this summer. Regardless, if Lawler beats Woodley as he’ll be expected to on July 30, Thompson getting his shot in the fall is a great Welterweight Title fight. I think he’ll also have a very good chance to beat the champ to take that title whenever that fight happens. He’s got to be favored or at least considered even with any fighter he’s going to face next.

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

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