The hierarchy of divisions can stay rigid at times. In others, they change in an instant. When Stephen Thompson bested former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks inside four minutes into the the first round of their UFC Fight Night 82 clash last month, the victory had a disruptive effect.
Was Tyron Woodley still the top contender? How was Thompson able to stop Hendricks in less than one round when champion Robbie Lawler couldn’t do it in 10? Where does this leave other top contenders?
The process of resorting is already in full swing, however, and Thompson is set to face Rory MacDonald in June at UFC Fight Night 89. It’s arguably the most important fight of his career, but as Thompson sees it, it’s not clear why he didn’t get a title shot.
“After beating Johny Hendricks, the No. 2-ranked guy before and former welterweight champion. Some even say that his last fight was controversial with Robbie Lawler. I definitely wanted that fight. I know Rory MacDonald fought him last July, actually fought him the day before I fought Ellenberger, and ended up losing,” he said on Monday’s The MMA Hour.
“I thought they would give the new guy a shot. That’s the fight I wanted and still want, but sometimes it doesn’t go your way.”
According to Thompson, he and his management explicitly asked the UFC for a title fight, but “UFC wasn’t having it.”
What they are having is a bout between contenders at the very peak of the division. And given their relevant rankings placement, Thompson argued the math is definitive in what it all means.
“I’m ranked No. 2,” Thompson noted. “There’s one guy in front of me, the No. 1 contender, which is Rory MacDonald. That’s why I’m in the game: to fight the best. I want that ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting