Stephen Thompson had two opportunities to defeat UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley and he came up short both times.
If a third fight were ever granted between the two, there would be a different outcome according to the challenger. With the underwhelming critical reception to the second fight, it's unlikely it will occur.
"I feel I can go out there and I know I can beat him,” Thompson told Submission Radio. “I mean just in the last two fights, I know if I put forth just a little bit more effort and actually go out there and just do what I know I can do, just fight, you know, I know I can beat him. I know I can do it. And the fans do too. Of course, you’re out there being cautious, but sometimes you gotta grit your teeth, bite down on that mouthpiece and go. And I didn’t do that in the last fight. And that’s something that I know if I go out there and do, then I’ll ended up winning. But the fight happened twice and I’ll fight who I gotta fight next and we’ll do it again.”
Thompson fought Woodley to a draw in their first fight at UFC 205, but Woodley won the second fight by decision at UFC 209. A knee injury for Thompson is the only thing that he says would prevent a third fight for him.
“I’m pretty sure the ACL’s intact, just making sure there’s no meniscus tears or anything like that. But it’s sore, still a little swollen, but you know, I’m itching to just get back out there and train and this is what I do, man. I do this everyday and this is kind of hard for me just to kind of sit back and watch everybody else train. We’ve got guys from my gym that have fights coming up, so I’d like to be there for them as well,” says Thompson.
Woodley has been the UFC Welterweight Champion since defeating Robbie Lawler at UFC 201 and Thompson is the only person he has ever defended the gold against.