“I’m like the only guy that he hasn’t faced yet in the top five,” Stephen Thompson hopes to face Kamaru Usman after a win at UFC 264

Stephen Thompson is hoping to hop the line and face Kamaru Usman next with a win against Gilbert Burns at UFC 264.

Stephen Thompson, Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns
Stephen Thompson, Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns

The number 4th ranked UFC Welterweight fighter, Stephen Thompson is going to face the number 2nd ranked Welterweight fighter, Gilbert Burns in the co-main event of UFC 264.

Thompson is coming into this with a win against Geoff Neal in his last fight and now he is happy to finally get the fight he has been looking for. In his latest interview with UFC Arabia, Wonderboy says,

“I’m glad that Gilbert Burns took this fight because a lot of guys in the top five that are ranked above me aren’t willing to fight, I’m just glad and blessed that Gilbert Burns is taking this fight. I know it’s gonna be a tough one.”

“Of course, I fought one of his best friends, Vicente Luque, about a year-and-a-half ago, Geoff Neal recently in December. Both up-and-coming guys, and Geoff Neal was undefeated, so it’s good to get a top-ranked guy, somebody ranked above me to shoot me hopefully towards that title once again.”

Burns is stepping into this fight with a loss against Kamaru Usman in his last fight at UFC 258 and he rocked the champion with a hard shot in the very first round of their fight. Stephen Thompson is very well aware of his strengths and he isn’t taking him lightly.

Wonderboy added, “The best Gilbert Burns ever, I know he wants that back, He was devastated after that loss, so I know he wants it back. I know he’s training extra, extra hard to get back at that title contention for sure, so I am prepared for the best Gilbert Burns.” {h/t MMA Junkie}

“The most motivated, dedicated, a guy that’s on point with his striking and his wrestling, and that’s what I wanted. I want to test myself against these guys. At this point, I’m 38 years old, I’ve been fighting for a very long time. Obviously, the title is always there, but what matters to me most is continuing to improve myself.”

Stephen Thompson wants to enter this fight with a champion mindset

Stephen Thompson
Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson challenged the former champion, Tyron Woodley, for his title. The first fight between both of them ended as a draw and Wonderboy lost the second one. Now, he knows that this is another chance for him to fight for the title and Thomspon is ready for all of this.

Stephen Thompson says, “A lot of guys focus on just the title, and they’re not willing to put in the work that it takes to get there. But I’ve trained with so many high-level guys, champions that I’ve trained with, that I see their mindset, and it’s changed me a lot.”

“A different look on the fight game, the win or loss. I don’t look at the loss as a loss, I look at it as a learning experience and something I can get better at. I do believe that a good win over him, though, should set me up nicely for a title shot.”

Wonderboy concluded, “I’m like the only guy that Usman hasn’t faced yet in the top five. He’s faced Leon Edwards early in his career. He’s fought Colby Covington. He’s fought Gilbert Burns. The only guy is me.” {h/t MMA Junkie}

“Like, come on, man, let’s make this happen. Of course I’m not looking past Gilbert. I got a tough guy in front of me this Saturday, so I’ve got to be prepared.”

Also Read: “I’m a bad matchup for him, especially if he wants to keep the fight standing,” Stephen Thompson has a message for Kamaru Usman.