Last month, in the main event of UFC 209, Stephen Thompson – who fights under the nickname “Wonderboy” – came up short in his second bid to swipe the UFC welterweight title from champion Tyron Woodley. Though he was not without his moments in the fight, he ultimately surrendered a majority decision to the champ.
On Monday afternoon, Thompson spoke with BJPenn.com’s own Chris Taylor to update on his recovery, when he hopes to return, and who he’d like to fight when he next steps into the Octagon.
“WELL [THE DOCTORS] ARE GIVING ME 4-6 WEEKS OF [PHYSICAL THERAPY], WHICH IS GOING GOOD,” THOMPSON SAID OF HIS RECOVERY. “IT’S STILL A LITTLE SORE AND THERE IS STILL A LITTLE SWELLING IN THE KNEE. BUT I THINK THAT WITH THE RECOVERY AND THEN A TRAINING CAMP I’M LOOKING AT SEPTEMBER. I’M HOPING FOR A LITTLE EARLIER THAN THAT. BUT SEPTEMBER IS WHAT WE ARE SHOOTING FOR. REHAB IS GOING GREAT MAN AND I DON’T THINK IT WILL TAKE LONG FOR ME TO GET BACK INTO SHAPE.”
Thompson then offered up two names as potential opponents for his return.
“I’M LOOKING TO FIGHT SOMEONE IN THE TOP-FIVE,” HE EXPLAINED. “CARLOS CONDIT IS ON MY RADAR. OBVIOUSLY I THINK ROBBIE LAWLER WOULD BE JUST A PHENOMENAL FIGHT. I THINK A FIGHT WITH LAWLER WOULD BE GREAT FOR THE FANS AND SOMETHING THEY COULD REALLY GET BEHIND. SO HOPEFULLY MY MANAGEMENT CAN GET IN TOUCH WITH THEIR GUYS AND SEE WHERE THEY’RE AT AND WORK SOMETHING OUT. BUT YEAH, CARLOS CONDIT OR ROBBIE LAWLER IS WHAT I’M HOPING FOR.”
Finally, Thompson explained that he’d also love to fight Nick Diaz – though he knows the Diaz brothers can be difficult to lock down.
“OH YEAH, DEFINITELY” HE SAID, WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF A FIGHT WITH NICK DIAZ. “I KNOW THE UFC HAS BEEN OFFERING HIM AND HIS BROTHER SOME FIGHTS AND THEY HAVE BEEN TURNING THEM DOWN OR WHATEVER. BUT IF NICK WAS WILLING TO GO THEN FOR SURE. I WOULD LOVE TO FIGHT NICK DIAZ! HE’S BEEN IN THE GAME A LONG TIME AND I KNOW [THE UFC] WILL PUSH HIM RIGHT NEAR THE TOP ANYWAYS. SO YEAH, THAT COULD BE A POSSIBILITY. I WOULD LOVE TO SCRAP WITH OLD NICK. I HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT FOR HIM. THAT WOULD BE A FUN FIGHT. LIKE ROBBIE LAWLER, NICK PUSHES THE PACE. I THINK IT WOULD MAKE FOR AN EXCITING FIGHT FOR THE FANS. THOSE FIGHTS WOULD BE WARS. I THINK THE FANS WOULD BE HAPPY WITH THAT.”
Who do you want to see Stephen Thompson fight in his return to the Octagon? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 4/3/2017.