Ladies and gentlemen, Stephen Thompson is on his way back to the Octagon. The ultra-exciting UFC striker has been cleared to fight after tearing his MCL in a loss to current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley back at UFC 209 this past March. It was Thompson’s second-straight title shot against Woodley after fighting “Chosen One” to a majority draw back at UFC 205 in New York City.
Since having surgery on his right knee earlier this year “Wonderboy” has been a busy little beaver. The 34-year-old title contender verbally agreed to fight fellow striker Jorge Masvidal later this year and now looks to take full advantage of that promise.
“Yea, so I got cleared,” Thompson said in a recent interview with BJPenn.com. “You know the doctors said I was good on Wednesday. So now I am getting back into the swing of things. I am training again, so I think I should be ready to go in November. That is the plan. I know that me and (Jorge) Masvidal verbally said that we would fight. I haven’t heard nothing from the UFC yet. So hopefully they will jump on board and want to make that fight happen. You know I’ve been out for 5 or 6 months now. It seems like I’ve been out forever man. I am just itching to get back out there and do it again. So hopefully the UFC will jump on board and want to get us on the [UFC 217] card. That is the plan anyway.”
Masvidal, 32, is coming off a spit-decision loss to Demian Maia back at UFC 211 and would make for a perfect opponent against Thompson in his return to action. Of course, if “Wonderboy” is unable to land “Gamebred” at UFC 217 he’ll gladly take his chances against another elite divisional contender.
“I would love to fight [Robbie] Lawler,” Thompson said. “That is who I was planning on fighting before I got matched up with Tyron. Robbie defended the title the most times since Georges St-Pierre. At one point I was really focused on fighting Lawler so it would be really cool to actually step out in the octagon with him. With that said, I did tell Masvidal I would fight him. We verbally agreed to that so I don’t want to go back on that. Plus, from what I’m hearing Robbie is likely to be fighting for the title next, which he deserves, so right now I have Masvidal on my mind man.”
Lawler, 35, is coming off a decision win over Donald Cerrone at UFC 214 after losing his title to Woodley last year at UFC 201 via first-round knockout. The long-time veteran would be one of the most exciting matchups the promotion could make for Thompson.
UFC 217 is currently scheduled to take place on Nov. 4 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Madison Square Garden in New York City, and will be headlined by a middleweight title fight pitting current champion Michael Bisping against former welterweight king Georges St-Pierre.