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Stephen Thompson accepts Anthony Pettis’ welterweight challenge ‘for the fans’

UFC 217: Thompson v Masvidal Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

In less than 24 hours, former UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson has accepted a proposed 170-pound clash with former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.

It was an unexpected callout considering Pettis has never fought at the welterweight level and actually made a run at featherweight in 2016, but all parties involved seem more than willing to get a deal done.

Per MMAjunkie, UFC matchmakers have also expressed interest in the welterweight pairing.

Thompson, who is coming off a tough loss to Darren Till this past May, was linked to a fight with former UFC welterweight king Robbie Lawler later this year, but “Ruthless” has since been called upon to welcome newly-acquired Ben Askren to the Octagon at UFC 235. Without an opponent to start his 2019 campaign, “Wonderboy” has decided to open up shop and welcome “Showtime” to 170 pounds.

Thompson posted the following response to Pettis’ callout earlier tonight via Instagram:

“For the fans! If @showtimepettis wants to come try out 170 y’all know I’m ready,” wrote Thompson. “We both got highlight reels, let’s do it!”

This would be an incredible fight to say the least. Thompson and Pettis are two of the best strikers in their respective divisions and could easily turn in a back-and-forth affair. Of course, “Wonderboy” will come in two inches taller, weigh more on fight night, and possess the longer reach.

Pettis would obviously have more to win as he transitions over to 170 pounds for the first time in his UFC career, but a win over “Showtime” would certainly help Thompson get back on track heading into the summer.

Stick with Mania for ongoing updates on the potential welterweight fight.

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