Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson is in an unenviable situation towards the summit of the UFC’s welterweight fold.
His negative results appear to only come at the sport’s highest level. His two bouts with current champ Tyron Woodley have yielded a draw and a loss. His most recent performance, against Darren Till in Liverpool last May, was razor close but ultimately it was the English fighter whose hand was raised inside the Echo Arena on that early summer evening.
Woodley, meanwhile, has emphasised his dominance of the weight class by defeating Till handily earlier this month but with the champion out until early 2019 after a sustaining hand injury which requires surgery, that leaves the rest of the division ample time to claim their place in its hierarchy.
And as far as Thompson is concerned, he has his next move all planned out.
I heard your going to be ready early next year @Ruthless_RL I know a guy who will be ready then too…Let’s give the fans what they want! I’m bringing the heat back, and you know this fight will be FIRE! @ufc
— Stephen Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) September 24, 2018
‘Wonderboy’ issued a challenge to Robbie Lawler, the last man to hold the UFC’s 170-pound title before Woodley, on social media.
“I heard you’re going to be ready early next year [Robbie Lawler], I know a guy who will be ready then too,” Thompson wrote.
“Let’s give the fans what they want! I’m bringing the heat back, and you know this fight will be FIRE!”
As of time of writing Lawler has yet to respond but, assuming he’s game, there’s little doubt that this would be an incredibly interesting match-up between two of the division’s most crowd-pleasing strikers.
Over to you, Mick Maynard.