Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has undoubtedly shown improvements on his standup over the last few years. However Stephen Thompson believes that Kamaru would resort to his old ways if they fought.
When looking at the rankings, “Wonderboy” Thompson is the only top five welterweight who has not previously fought, and lost to Usman. This, in large part, is the basis of his argument for earning a title shot, with his two-fight winning streak being secondary.
Nevertheless, Kamaru has seemed more interested in a rematch with Jorge Masvidal, which he called for after beating Gilbert Burns. This move came as a bit of a surprise, considering how relatively easy it was for him to beat Jorge the first time.
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Stephen Thompson Would Make Kamaru Usman Wrestle
In his aforementioned victory over Burns, Kamaru Usman showed his improved skillset of striking which he had been working on for years. However Stephen Thompson does not think we would see that same version of the champ if they fought.
Speaking in a recent interview, “Wonderboy” made it clear that it was impressive for Usman to have improved as much as he has in the stand-up. That said, against more skilled strikers he thinks Kamaru will return to his wrestling roots.
” You saw it in his last fight with Burns, (Usman’s) striking is getting better every freaking time you see him. And that’s a scary dude, a guy that evolves like that and gets better every time you see him. You expect that out of somebody like the champ,” Thompson said.
“Now, will he fight that way with somebody like me? I don’t think so. I think he goes back to his wrestling. I don’t see him wanting to stand and bang with me…
“With guys like myself and Jorge Masvidal, he’s looking to get us against the cage and get us down. But against somebody like me, who’s got the third best takedown defense in the division, he’s going to have a hard time for sure.”
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Wonderboy Issues A Message To The Champ
Another discussion that came after Kamaru Usman’s win, was people debating if he was surpassing Georges St-Pierre’s legacy as the welterweight GOAT. Stephen Thompson says that fans should slow their roll on these comparisons.
“People are talking about him being up there with Georges St-Pierre and I’m like hold on, put the brakes on for a second,” Thompson said.
“You defended (the belt) three times, and Georges St-Pierre (had 9 title defenses)… You’re not quite there yet. Yeah, he’s on the way but he’s not quite there. That’s just in my eyes.”
At this point, “Wonderboy” has made it crystal clear that he wants a fight with Kamaru Usman in April or May. So he felt it important to issue a message to the welterweight champ, in about as mean of a way as the NMF gets.
“I’m right behind him. Watch out for me,” Thompson said.
“He even said it himself, one of the hardest guys in the division to prepare for is me. I’m going to give him the hardest fight, but I’m getting better every day too. Not just with my striking, but with my wrestling and my Jiu-Jitsu.
Wherever the fight goes, I’m going to be ready for it, and if we fight, I’m going to be the one to get my hand raised. So let’s go baby!”
Do you want to see Stephen Thompson fight Kamaru Usman? How do you see that fight going down?