UFC welterweight contender Sean Brady is less than impressed with the matchup stance of Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
After a long wait for an opponent, which has seen him kept on the sidelines since breaking into the top 10 with a victory over Michael Chiesa last November, Brady has a fight lined up, and it’s a big one.
In October, Brady will head to Abu Dhabi for the UFC 280 pay-per-view, where he’ll share the cage with top-five welterweight Belal Muhammad. While “Remember The Name” will ride an eight-fight unbeaten streak into the event, his American counterpart will put his unblemished 15-0 record on the line in pursuit of a sizable step up the ladder.
While Brady has ultimately been delivered a huge opportunity in the context of his desire to rise the ranks, finding a game rival hasn’t been an easy task.
Since January, the Philadelphia native has been calling for a fight, with one constant being the name of “Wonderboy,” whom Brady even initially branded as the only name that made sense for him to fight next.
But when responding to the callout during an interview with MMA Junkie, two-time title challenger Thompson firmly shut down talk of a collision with the rising contender.
“I know Sean Brady has called me out, but Sean Brady… I know exactly what he’s going to do,” Thompson said. “I don’t think it’s going to be fun for the fans because he’s just going to shoot, shoot, shoot. Which is understandable when you’re in a situation like mine. There are other guys out there.”
It’s safe to say that attitude hasn’t gone down well with the #9-ranked welterweight…
Brady: ‘If You Don’t Want To Fight, Get Out The Rankings’
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Brady looked back on his hunt for an opponent and the time it took to land him at the door of a top-10 name.
When discussing his pursuit of “Wonderboy,” Brady slammed the veteran’s desire to avoid a contender who employs a grappling-heavy offense having fallen to defeat at the hands of Gilbert Burns and Muhammad in 2021.
“I was trying to fight Wonderboy. And I wasn’t trying to fight Wonderboy because it’s a good stylistic matchup for me. I actually wanted to fight the next guy ahead of me,” Brady said. “And back to these fuckin’ internet guys, ‘Oh, you just want to fight the guy who’s 39 years old, blah, blah, blah.’ If you can’t get taken down and get back up, then that’s a problem. Go do something else.”
Since falling to a two-fight skid and having his wrestling deficiencies exposed, Thompson has been in search of some potential striking battles, with names like Kevin Holland and the Diaz brothers coming up.
While Brady has no issue with the 39-year-old pursuing those kinds of bouts, he suggested that if Thompson wants to face unranked strikers, he should relinquish his place in the welterweight top 15.
“But I love Wonderboy. But I’m just saying… and if you want to do like the Nate and the Nick Diaz fights and all that shit, that’s fine, but don’t be in the rankings,” Brady asserted. “The point of being in the rankings is to work your way up, and become a champion, or challenge for a belt. And that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Having been dominated on the ground in back-to-back fights, it’s perhaps understandable that Thompson would want to avoid a date in the cage with an elite wrestler like Brady. But that, obviously, isn’t ideal for up-and-comers like Brady.
Nevertheless, with Brady booked against Muhammad, Thompson can continue his search for a striker to throw down with next time out. With that said, it’s probably not hard to guess his response to Shavkat Rakhmonov’s recent callout…
Do you agree with Sean Brady’s take on Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson?