Exclusive: Stephen Thompson Says He'd Finish Anthony Pettis In The 1st & Talks Usman/Woodley

Stephen Thompson hasn’t been seen in the Octagon since a close decision loss to Darren Till in the main event of UFC Fight Night Liverpool.

The fighter could soon be returning to action against former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis, a bout Thompson predicts won’t get past the first round.

“I’m like, why is this guy calling me out? It just doesn’t make sense, he’s fought at 145…he’s got a name…yes…he fought at 155. (He) fought Tony Ferguson, lost to Tony Ferguson not to long ago. Next thing you know…I was actually on a plane to Denver, getting ready to do some snowboarding out there and (when) I land on the plane, I look at my phone…my phones blowing up with the fans and stuff telling me to fight Anthony Pettis. I’m just looking for a fight, this fight may or may not happen…I’m not sure yet. I just want to step into the Octagon again, so I think fans have been getting back to me saying they want to see me fight and they miss me. So hopefully, this thing will happen. He’s a great striking, I think its something the fans want to see, but I don’t think its something that Pettis is gonna like. He is a 155er, I think I’m just going to go out there and crush him. I think I’d finish him in the first round to be honest with you, I really do. I think I’d go out there and put it on him, I think its gonna be a first round finish. I always prepare for the best…for the best Anthony Pettis, for the hardest five minute rounds. If I do fight the man, hopefully its the main event or a fight night or something. I always prepare for the hardest five, five minute rounds no matter who it is. I know a lot of people would be thinking that I’m taking Pettis lightly, but I’m definitely not man…he’s tricky. The guys tricky man, he’s go some good Tae Kwan Do kicks and he’s put some really good people away. His jiu-jitsu is…I think underestimated and he submitted some really high level guys in his division. Maybe he’s thinking he’s gonna take me down and submit me, but its not gonna happen man. Tyron (Woodley) had a hard time taking me down during the fight and so I think he’s in for a rude awakening, but I’ll welcome him with open arms to the 170 pound division,” says Thompson in an exclusive interview with Fightful’s James Lynch.

Pettis has competed at featherweight and lightweight before, but he has never competed at welterweight as a professional MMA fighter.

Controversy reared its ugly head when Kamaru Usman got a welterweight title shot ahead of Colby Covington at UFC 235 and Thompson shares his thoughts on that craziness.

“Yeah, there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on. Not really sure why they picked Usman instead of Colby Covington, because after Colby Covington beat RDA (Rafael Dos Anjos)…I thought it was going to be it. I’m not really sure what the ins and outs are with that…the whole inside scoop, but Usmans got it man…Usmans got it I guess. Maybe Colby is not willing to fight him, I know there was a whole debacle…they had a fight set and then Colby Covington said ‘I won’t be ready by this time next month.’ But that was like a few months ago, several months ago that all happened. So I’m not really sure, I understand Colby’s pissed and I would be to. When your told your gonna be the guy fighting for the title next and they kind of take that from underneath you, it would piss me off to. But, with that being said, Usman and Tyron will be a very good fight. I personally think Tyron’s gonna knock him out, yes…Usmans got some of the best wrestling. His striking, I don’t think is on par with Tyron’s. I think Usmans gonna turn it into a wrestling match, if he can keep that cardio level up for five rounds…Usmans got it. If he can tire Tyron…Tyron’s known to slow down in those later rounds, Usman…he’s a monster, he’s a monster man. But if he wants to keep it standing, I think Tyron’s got it,” says Thompson.

Thompson has twice before challenged for the UFC Welterweight Title, fighting Tyron Woodley to a draw at UFC 205 and suffering a decision loss to him at UFC 209.

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