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Exclusive: Stephen Thompson Opens Up on Woodley Snub

Derek Bowe

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With UFC titles changing hands like a revolving door, it has been impossible to look ahead to future matchups for these current champions. The most recent of such to have a new owner, the UFC welterweight title, now has been laid claim to by Tyron Woodley after his stunning first round knockout of former defending champion Robbie Lawler. The speculation of who Lawler would be facing next had assuredly been solely focused on one man, Stephen Thompson. Thompson has had quite the year, prior to this weekend, the majority in the belief Thompson had earned himself a title shot ahead of the new champion, Woodley. Thompson bested two top five contenders en route to his placement as the current number one ranked welterweight in the division behind the champion.

It is quite a day at MMA Latest when one of the best fighters in the world stops in to talk with Jordan and Sam. Stephen shared his thoughts on where he stands, his title shot chances, as well as what he thinks of his potential opponent, champion Tyron Woodley’s live television dismissal of Thompson’s claim to the title shot just after the UFC 201 had concluded.

Thompson shared his candid thoughts with Jordan.

“I was fairly nervous because I knew I wanted to call out the winner but I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it.” Thompson said.
“I’m not a confrontational guy at all, I hate it actually. But, when you got Dominick Cruz and Cormier in your ear saying ‘you got to call this guy out’ saying this is time man, this is your time to call him out’ I was like ‘stop it, leave me alone I’m figuring it out’. I then ended up saying it and I sounded like a goober calling him out because I’m not a mean guy.”

Stephen was being way too harsh on himself, his call-out of Woodley was just fine. It was short, conveyed his desire, Woodley knew precisely what he was asking for. Though Stephen was surely not prepared for the answer he received from the new champion.

“In my head, I was laughing like ‘are you kidding me?'” Thompson said. “You literally have had the belt around your waist for thirty minutes and you’re telling the number one contender ‘no’ and that you want a money fight?”

“It upset me you know and then Cormier is like looking at me like ‘you gotta call him out again, you gotta bring it back, I’ll feed it back to you’. It then goes back on Cormier and he’s making sparks fly and oh my goodness–it was fun though.”

Sitting Thompson in the studio was a little obvious move by the UFC to set up such a situation following the event, though the UFC were probably just as shocked as Thompson was. Stephen goes on to make his pitch on why he is the guy who should be challenging for the UFC welterweight title next.

“I believe I’ve earned more than anyone in the division. Especially after all the stuff he went through after his last fight. He was the number four ranked guy in the division and he then waited 18-months saying ‘I deserve it, I deserve it, I deserve it’. There’s no one else in the division than myself. I think I did what the fans wanted and what the UFC wanted he just tells me flat no.”

Jordan posed the question to Stephen, asking what he would do of he were in Tyron’s shoes, Thompson had the expected response.

“I’m in the business to be the best fighter,” Thompson said. “The money is a bonus thing for me, and if I was in his situation it would be the guy most deserving in the division. I’m here to face the best guys and my Dad can vouch for me that I’m a straight up guy and that I want to do things the right way.”

“You’re the champion and there’s a number one guy there for a reason–so that’s the guy that you got to face. You defend that belt a few times and then perhaps we can talk about a money fight. That’s what I believe. Fighting honourably and doing the right thing is what it’s all about. That’s what martial arts is all about.”

Strong takes from the number one ranked welterweight. Takes which are fact based, and near to impossible to dispute. Unfortunately we do not make the decisions on who receives the chance to fight for a title. Thompson certainly deserves his shot, he is as deserving as anyone in the entire sport, at any weight. A fighter with such an exciting style, ability, as well as a about as good a person as there is in this game. That being said, Tyron is the champion, he will likely defend his title against whichever challenger he sees fit. If sporting logic does prevail, we are in store for an outstanding match-up between two exceptional talents in Woodley, and Thompson.

Listen to the full podcast below:

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Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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