After the vaunted striker took out Johny Hendricks in the opening round in February, Thompson campaigned for a shot at the champ Lawler. But, the UFC decided to have Thompson fight fellow top contender Rory MacDonald next, and that fight will go down at UFC Fight Night 89 on June 18th. Just recently, the UFC confirmed that Tyron Woodley will face Lawler at UFC 201 on July 30th.
“To be honest with you, yes it’s kind of upsetting that it’s happening this way,” said Thompson. “But you know, I’m a fighter. That’s what I do. And I’m here to fight the best. And like I said before, I’m the number two and he’s [Rory MacDonald] the number one. So I guess I gotta show the UFC one more time that I deserve that title shot. So it’s gonna be happening June 18th, and whatever happens there and whatever happens during the Tyron and Robbie Lawler fight, it is what it is. But I’ll be ready for whoever I’m stepping in the octagon with. But a little disappointed at the same time.”
“I finished the former welterweight champion and a guy that went five rounds with Georges St-Pierre – which is controversial – ten rounds with the champion now – and even though Robbie won the last one, it was still controversial. So I see it as me beating the welterweight champion…”
There you have it. There were certainly a lot folks who wanted to see Lawler – Thompson next, no question. But, ultimately, it looks like the UFC elected to honor the promise they made Woodley last fall, when Hendricks had to bow out of their scheduled fight due to weight cutting issues. If you’re a Woodley fan, then obviously you’re happy to hear that the accomplished fighter is getting his crack at the belt.
If Thompson can get by MacDonald, who is one of the most rugged and well rounded fighters in the division, then it’s hard to image him not getting a title shot next.
UFC FN 89 will take place at the TD Place Arena in Ottawa, Ontario.