Thompson would like to fight McGregor not for the money, but because he’s one of the best martial artists in the world.
Almost everyone wants a mega-money fight against UFC sensation Conor McGregor, but not everyone is focused on the money.
Lightweight standouts Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, who will square off the for the interim 155-pound title on March 4, want to knock the Irishman off the throne and prove their worth as the best in the world.
Welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson, who rematches Tyron Woodley in a headlining championship bout at UFC 209, would like to fight McGregor to test himself as a martial artist.
“Yeah for me it is about fighting the best people in the world and proving that I am the best fighter, not only to the world but to myself,” Thompson told Damon Martin on The Fight Society podcast. “I’ve been doing this since I was three years old and this is who I am. This is my life and I want to be the best. I do it for the honor and the glory and it’s not about that big paycheck.”
“Everybody asks ‘would you fight Conor McGregor?’ — of course I’d fight Conor McGregor but it’s not because of the money,” Thompson explained. “It’s because he’s such a huge martial artist and everybody considers themselves the best if you fight Conor McGregor, if you beat Conor McGregor. I look at it like that.”
Although McGregor has a laundry list of fighters that want to challenge him in the Octagon, ‘The Notorious’ is looking to book a boxing match against none other than pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather Jr. The two fighters have gone back-and-forth for the better part of a year, and it’s looking like both men have entered informal negotiations.
Thompson, though, while open to a scrap with the lightweight champion, is focused on his rematch against ‘The Chosen One’. ‘Wonderboy’ fought Woodley to a draw in a gruelling five-round fight at UFC 205, and both men will headline the blockbuster UFC 209 event next Saturday.
The pay-per-view, which also features a co-headlining championship bout between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson, takes place March 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.