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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Stephen Thompson after coming up short (again) against Tyron Woodley?

MMA: UFC 209-Woodley vs Thompson Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC 209 blew the roof off T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, last Saturday night (March 4, 2017).

For complete results from UFC 209: “Woodley vs. Thompson 2,” including play-by-play updates, click here and here.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Rashad Evans, who dropped his third straight fight after failing to impress in his middleweight debut against Daniel Kelly (recap here).

Also, Mark Hunt was knocked out by Alistair Overeem in the third round of their heavyweight scrap (video replay here), giving “Super Samoan” his second straight loss and a gnarly scar to remember it by.

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?

Stephen Thompson.

Very rarely does a challenger get two chances to win a UFC world title in a span of less than six months. “Wonderboy” got the rare opportunity after fighting to a majority draw against current welterweight king Tyron Woodley at UFC 205 last November.

Thompson and Woodley were booked to run it back at UFC 209 just five months later in an attempt to get a clear-cut winner. Mission accomplished, as “The Chosen One” managed to score a majority decision win after five more rounds of action (see it).

But calling it “clear cut” is a stretch, as many felt the nod should’ve gone to “Wonderboy,” UFC President Dana White included. Naturally, Thompson also felt he did enough to get the win, but ultimately has to face the fact that he couldn’t dethrone Woodley on two separate occasions.

“I felt that I did (win). The game plan was to go out there and pick him apart. When you’re out there with somebody as strong as him, you don’t want to be clinched up. You don’t want to get hit with that right hand. You have to pick him apart. That was the game plan going out there,” Thompson said during the post-fight press conference. “(I’m) disappointed, man, I worked my whole life to get here. I thought I won the fight, but you can’t leave it in the judges’ eyes, so that was on me.”

It’s a tough pill to swallow for Thompson, who is likely find that his road back to a third championship fight will be tough, especially if Woodley hangs on to the belt for a while.

Or if this man comes back to regain his crown.

That said, “Wonderboy” has the ability to rack up some impressive victories in order to get himself back to the big dance. And if he wants to get there faster, perhaps a matchup and win over Robbie Lawler is in order.

“Ruthless” hasn’t competed since getting his clock cleaned by Woodley at UFC 201 last July, so he should be gearing up for a return pretty soon. A showdown between these two strikers seems like the next logical move.

Unless, of course, you have a better idea?

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