Just In Stephen Thompson targets November return at UFC 244, preferably vs. Rafael dos Anjos MMA Life
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Former two-time UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson is currently experiencing the roughest patch of his career as he looks to return to the octagon soon.
And he has his eyes set on the Nov. 2 card at Madison Square Garden for UFC 242, hoping for a showdown with former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos.
“I know me and RDA are both coming off a loss, so might be a good time for him to heal up and maybe make that happen at MSG, so that would be cool,” Thompson told reporters, including MMA Junkie, backstage Saturrday at UFC 240 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Thompson (14-4-1 MMA, 9-4-1 UFC) suffered a knockout loss to Anthony Pettis at UFC on ESPN+ 6 in his last outing, the first time he’s ever been finished in his professional career. It was a tough pill to swallow for Thompson, who believed he was winning the fight up until that point.
Thompson now has lost three of his last four fights. He said he’d much rather lose a fight where his opponent is just better than to suffer a stoppage loss.
“For me, it was worse with the quick one, my last one with Pettis,” Thompson said. “I got knocked out in the second round, even though I was winning the fight. I would have rather lost going all three rounds and had my opponent just outwork me, knowing I was 100 percent. I’m going to be at 100 percent giving it my all. The last fight, it was one of those fluke shots. That can happen with anybody in the division or in this game. I would rather lose getting smoked, not getting knocked out knowing that you were winning.”
Dos Anjos (29-12 MMA, 18-10 UFC) is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Leon Edwards at UFC on ESPN 4. He too has lost three of his last four.
When asked if dos Anjos should be happy to fight him because he’s a striker not a wrestler, Thompson said his last opponent, Edwards, was also a striker.
“He fought a striker in Leon Edwards,” Thompson said. “All five rounds, and Leon Edwards is on a (eight)-fight winning streak right now. Wow, so he could be possibly fighting for the title as well.”
Thompson took some time off following his knockout loss in March, as he looks to make a return before the end of the year.
If not dos Anjos, Thompson would just like to fight a top-ranked opponent next.
“Everything’s feeling good, back into training hard full force, and hopefully I’ll be fighting again at Madison Square Garden. November is the plan,” Thompson said. “Don’t know who yet, but we’ll see.
“I know Robbie Lawler has a fight coming up so, yeah man, I’m looking at somebody in the top five, and I’m ready to get back out there and do it again.”
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