Stephen Thompson believes he’s a bad matchup for the welterweight champ, Kamaru Usman.
Since joining the UFC, Usman has been dominant and has only continued his dominance since becoming champ. He has already nearly beaten all of the top-five welterweights, except for Thompson which is why he thinks he should good the title shot if he beats Gilbert Burns at UFC 264.
“I’m the guy that hasn’t faced him yet,” Thompson said when speaking to MMA Fighting. “It feels like everyone in the top-10 has already fought him at some point in time. Leon Edwards has fought him in the past. Gilbert Burns has fought him. Colby Covington has fought him. He just knocked out Jorge Masvidal. Like who else is this guy going to fight? And then I think it was not too long ago he was talking about fighting Michael Chiesa and it’s like why wouldn’t it have been me?
“I think I’m a terrible matchup for him,” Thompson continued. “I feel like that I’m the last man standing right now. A good win over Gilbert Burns, he’s going to have to face me.”
If Thompson does beat Burns, he would be on a three-fight winning streak and it would be hard to deny him. “Wonderboy” also has a unique style and could pose some problems for the champ which is why Thompson thinks he’s such and matchup for the champ.
“I think so,” Thompson responded when asked if he truly believed he was the toughest matchup for Usman. “Just because of the movement, our styles together. He’s a type of guy, he plods forward, he tries to get you to the cage but I feel like that was the old Kamaru. I still feel like I’m a bad matchup for him, especially if he wants to keep the fight standing, like he did against Masvidal who is one of the best strikers in the division. He knocked him out. I’ve got one of the best takedown defenses in our division as well. I can’t wait to step out there with him.
“Is he going to stand there and strike or is he going to go straight for wrestling? Whatever happens, I’m obviously going to be prepared for it but I think I’m the worst matchup for him,” Thompson concluded.