Saturday, January 23, 2021

Stephen Thompson Explains Refusal To Fight Khamzat Chimaev

#5-ranked UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson currently has no plans to agree to fight Khamzat Chimaev.

Khamzat Chimaev is without question one of the biggest stories in MMA of 2020. When it comes to newcomers, he’s an uncontested #1 in terms of buzz generated and projected potential. This is so indisputable that three fights into his UFC career, the UFC is already looking to book Chimaev in a main event against a top-5 fighter in Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. The only problem: Thompson has not returned interest in this potential pairing, and recently, he explained why on his YouTube channel.

“No, I’m not fighting him, man. I mean, it just doesn’t make sense for me at this point,” Thompson said. “I’m ranked No. 5 to fight a guy who is unranked? 

“… I fought a lot of guys to get to where I’m at. And a lot of other fighters fought a lot of guys to get where they’re at so I don’t see why it’s okay for him to jump past everybody.”

Stephen Thompson has earned a reputation as being one of the nicest guys in MMA, but that doesn’t mean he can’t stand his ground and stick to his convictions, even if others such as Chimaev might not necessarily find his behavior to be all that “nice.” After getting back in the win column over top-10 welterweight Vicente Luque at UFC 244 last November, Thompson informed ESPN that he believed a fight between either Leon Edwards or a rematch against Jorge Masvidal was more sensible. Both Edwards and Masvidal are currently without an official opponent.

Khamzat Chimaev’s most recent destruction took place last month at UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley in a 17-second vanquishing of veteran Gerald Meerschaert.

Do you agree with Stephen Thompson? Does a fight between him and Khamat Chimaev not make sense right now?