Interim title fights seem to be all the rage these days. Take last weekend (Sat., Oct. 7, 2017) for example, as Tony Ferguson won the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim Lightweight strap after submitting Kevin Lee in UFC 216’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event. Of course, that interim belt was justified, as division champion Conor McGregor hasn’t defended his belt since winning it nearly a year ago.
Now, Stephen Thompson is ramping up talks about a potential interim Welterweight strap since Tyron Woodley recently stated he could be on the shelf for a time because of nagging injures. And even though “Wonderboy” has a fight coming up against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217 in New York, N.Y., on Nov. 4, the striking expert isn’t shy about expressing who — and what — he wants next.
“We’ve been kind of going back and forth with me and Robbie Lawler, I was ranked No. 1, then he’s No. 1, then we’re both No. 1. So hopefully a good win over this – you know, I understand Tyron is out for a little while, so hopefully we’ll be able to fight against Robbie Lawler, maybe for an interim welterweight title against him for that belt,” Thompson said during an interview with Submission Radio.
Of course, Thompson has a tall task ahead of him against Masvidal, who is known for bringing the fight — and the pain — night in and night out. It’s something that’s not lost on “Wonderboy,” who says their 170-pound showdown will be one to remember given their exciting fight styles.
“A lot of fight fans are more excited about our fight than anything else, so we both have responsibility to go out there and really put on a show,” Thompson said. “And unlike Tyron, this guy comes forward, he comes to fight and it’s got fireworks written all over it.
“You’re gonna see more of Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson than you saw in my last two fights against Tyron,” he continued. “I love it when guys come forward, which is something you didn’t see during the Tyron Woodley fight. But, that’s just the way Masvidal is, he comes walking forward, he’s not afraid to press the action, which enables me to use my arsenal a little bit better, to use my kicks, to use my angles. So yeah, man, you’re gonna see a more exciting fight from me November 4th.”
Of course, there is no telling just how long Woodley will be riding the pine, so talks of an interim title are premature. Plus, “Wonderboy” still needs to get through “Gamebred” … which is much easier said than done.