Stephen Thompson is currently preparing for his upcoming battle against fellow welterweight Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217.
However, when that battle is complete, the welterweight wants a bout with former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and he wants that fight to be for the vacant UFC Interim Welterweight Title.
“I haven’t really talked to anybody about that with the UFC,” Thompson said to Bloody Elbow. “The only thing that I know is that I’m facing off against Jorge Masvidal. But, what I believe I have to do come November 4th is – to be able to stay for that title contention, to be able to fight for the title – is put on a good show and put out a good W, an exciting W come November 4th against Jorge Masvidal. We’ve been kind of going back and forth with me and Robbie Lawler. I was ranked number one, then he’s number one, then we’re both number one. So hopefully a good win over this... You know, I understand Tyron is out for a little while, so hopefully we’ll be able to fight against Robbie Lawler, maybe for an interim welterweight title against him for that belt. There’s also word RDA will want him to fight for the title too, so I really don’t know. I gotta go out there and face Jorge first and see what happens there before I can think about really what’s going on next. But it is in the back of mind.”
There is currently just one interim champion in the UFC right now and that is Tony Ferguson, who captured the UFC Interim Lightweight Title at UFC 216.
Thompson is excited to be fighting Masvidal at UFC 217 because he knows his future opponent will keep coming forward against him.
“A lot of fight fans are more excited about our fight than anything else, so we both have responsibility to go out there and really put on a show. And unlike Tyron, this guy comes forward. He comes to fight and it’s got fireworks written all over it,” says Thompson.
UFC 217 takes place on Saturday, November 4 from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York with Michael Bisping and Georges St. Pierre headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.