Stephen Thompson might not be on most fan’s short list as a man who could lay claim to the UFC’s welterweight title in 2016, but that could change on February 6th.
The reason being that on that date, at UFC 196, Thompson will throw down with Johny Hendricks. Considering the latter is a former champ and is ranked #3 at 170, Thompson has been given a huge opportunity and he knows it.
Recently the vaunted striker spoke with MMA Junkie.com about the upcoming fight, and while doing so, Thompson stated this:
“This is the fight I’ve been looking for – someone in the top-five,” Thompson said. “I was very nervous and super-excited, because I know Hendricks is a tough guy. But this is why I’m in the game. I’m going for the belt, and this is the guy in my way now.”
It’s an intriguing fight with a lot riding on it, no question. First things first, Thompson has to get by Hendricks, which is no easy task for anyone. Then, if he does, Thompson would have to wait for Tyron Woodley to get his title shot, as he’s already been promised one after Hendricks’ weight cutting debacle.
So, clearly a few things have to fall into place before Thompson’s knocking on the title shot door. But, if the 11-1 fighter takes out Hendricks at UFC 196, 2016 will be looking pretty good for “Wonderboy”.
UFC 196 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.