Stephen Thompson: If You Want Fun Fights, Keep Giving Me Strikers

Stephen Thompson wants to keep putting on entertaining performances for the fans without facing a ground-heavy style.

Thompson got back in the win column with a TKO victory over Kevin Holland at UFC Orlando. Entering the fight, he lost back-to-back matchups against Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad.

Thompson showed in both the Burns and Muhammad fights that he has a gaping hole when it comes to grappling. Going back to his title fights against Tyron Woodley, he’s proven to be a standup specialist, which has proven to be a fan-friendly approach.

It was a long road back to the Octagon for Thompson after waiting for a booking for the past year. He turned down fights against Shavkat Rakhmonov and Sean Brady due to their wrestling-heavy styles.

After his win over Holland, Thompson isn’t budging on his desire to not face opponents who favor the ground game.

Stephen Thompson Stands Firm On ‘Strikers Only’ Stance

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During his UFC Orlando post-fight press conference, Thompson doubled down on his ‘no grappler’ desires.

“If you guys want more fights like that, give me a striker,” Thompson said. “I’m always looking for the title and that’s at the time of the list, but I want to have some fun fights on the way.”

Thompson’s desire is similar to that of fellow UFC Orlando winner Rafael dos Anjos. After a loss to Rafael Fiziev, dos Anjos outlined fights with opponents who motivate him to train and put on show-stopping performances.

While dos Anjos’ title aspirations are likely done, Thompson remains firm on one last run at the belt. His victory over Holland could go a long way in moving him closer to re-entering the title picture.

The UFC may continue to get creative when booking Thompson’s future fights, although he seems willing to wait as long as it takes to get what he wants in his opponents.

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