FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 12/22: Stephen Thompson calls out Rafael dos Anjos for number one contender spot (w/ Heydorn’s analysis)


Stephen Thompson (photo credit Adam Hunger © USA Today Sports)

Even with two recent losing efforts in UFC welterweight championship fights, Stephen Thompson still believes he’s the next man up to face Tyron Woodley.

Shortly after Rafael dos Anjos dismantled Robbie Lawler this past Saturday on the UFC on Fox 26 card, Thompson took to Twitter to congratulate dos Anjos and challenge him to a number one contender fight. In the post, Thompson said, “That was a WAR! Hats off to both RDA and Robbie for that effort! I can be back in the Octagon this March. @RdosAnjosMMA , let’s give the fans another treat. We both want gold, it’s only fitting we battle for it!”

As it stands today, Thompson is the number one ranked welterweight in the UFC. With his victory nearly a week ago, dos Anjos is ranked high as well. Thompson has had two championship opportunities against Tyron Woodley already and failed to win the belt on both occasions. The second of those fights was heralded as a massive disappointment. dos Anjos is a former UFC lightweight world champion.

Heydorn’s Analysis: What Rafael dos Anjos has on his side in terms of his claim to a championship fight is that he hasn’t fought Tyron Woodley yet like Stephen Thompson has. On top of that, dos Anjos has looked tremendous fighting at welterweight and the results prove it. All that being said, its title fight or bust if I’m dos Anjos. Because he has the leverage of not having lost to Woodley like Thompson does, he’ll be considered for a title fight against Woodley anyway. Therefore, it makes absolutely no sense for RDA to take the Thompson fight due to the fact that a loss would drop him out of immediate title contention. If RDA is smart, he’ll wait for Woodley to get healthy before signing on for another fight.


Demetrious Johnson proposes a unique fight between him and Floyd Mayweather. Johnson told TMZ Sports that he’d fight Mayweather in an MMA fight with no grappling allowed. Johnson said,“I think it would go very well for me, obviously.” “I’m very well-rounded. It’s mixed martial arts. I would even do a handicap. I won’t even grapple with him. I won’t even go to the ground at all. I’ll get him in the clinch, bang up, hit him in the liver, kick him in the liver, take out his legs and work him.”

Heydorn’s Analysis: If Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather in a UFC fight doesn’t work out, this fight would be the next best thing. Certainly Johnson would dismantle Mayweather easily, but the no grappling stipulation is an interesting one. I’m surprised how socially vocal Johnson has been regarding Mayweather’s potential future in the UFC. He appears to think he as a shot at being the guy that gets picked to fight him. Good for him. He’s a star who’s acting like a star. That said, I don’t think he’ll get there. If. IF Floyd Mayweather signs with the UFC, McGregor will be his opponent.

Mark Hunt is planning to leave UFC when is contract is up. In an interview with Submission Radio, Hunt said,“Well, for the UFC, yeah.”  “That will be the end of my career in the UFC. I have two fights left and that’s it. You probably know the path I’ve had with the UFC, but you know, it’s business. I haven’t done nothing wrong, I just don’t like to be treated like s**t – even if I’m an employee or whatever and I speak my mind about it and, you know, I’ll go from there. So like I said, three fights left and I’ll move on.”

Heydorn’s Analysis: This is big news but not surprising news. Hunt and the UFC have been at odds with each other for quite sometime. In addition, Hunt clearly has some serious medical issues whether he wants to admit it now or not. This is a good move for him. When his contract is up he can reevaluate his career and possibly sign with someone where the competition is more ripe for him in the twilight of his career.

Sage Northcutt vs. Thibault Gouti has been added to UFC Austin

Iuri Alcantara vs. Joe Soto will take place at UFC Belem

Tyrell Fortune vs. Joe Hernandez set for Bellator 193. That card will be headlined by Lorenz Larkin and Fernando Gonzalez. Fortune is an up and coming star in Bellator’s heavyweight division. Hernandez is in the midst of a two fight losing streak. Both fights he lost via TKO. Bellator 193 takes place on January 26th, 2018.

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NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS NEWS: WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST 12/20: Khabib Nurmagomedov says his weight is “perfect” heading in to UFC 219 (w/ Heydorn’s analysis)

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