Stephen Thompson Says Israel Adesanya Bout Could Lure Him To Middleweight

Two-time UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson says a bout with Israel Adesanya could bring him to the 185-pound division.

Thompson is focusing on climbing back up the 170-pound division. While “Wonderboy” has come up short in two UFC title opportunities against Tyron Woodley, “The Chosen One” is no longer the welterweight champion. Thompson suffered a setback after his knockout loss to Anthony Pettis but he bounced back with a unanimous decision win over Vicente Luque.

Thompson Says Adesanya Could Lure Him To Middleweight

During an interview with Severe MMA, Thompson admitted he doesn’t exactly have the size for the middleweight division. With that said, he might be tempted with a bout against 185-pound champion Israel Adesanya (via

“But to be honest with you, I’m not a big welterweight. I walk around at 190, 195. You know, when I spar and train with guys like Chris Weidman whose a 185er, just to feel the power and strength of these guys is ridiculous. When he grabs me by my wrist I feel like a five-year-old, I can’t get away. So to face guys like him in that division, because I’m not a big guy, I would literally have to put on some muscle and weight to move up to that middleweight class,” continued Thompson.

“As of right now (no), but in the future, I don’t know. I mean if Adesanya is still the champion — if I get that title, that could be a possibility, just to mix things up.”

Thompson has a TKO win over former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker. That bout was contested at 170 pounds. Thompson said that he had considered making the move up to 185 pounds one day if Whittaker continued to reign.

Thompson sits at the sixth spot on the UFC welterweight rankings. There are plenty of potential new matchups for “Wonderboy.” Thompson has yet to face Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns, Leon Edwards, Michael Chiesa, and current champion Kamaru Usman.

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