Jorge Masvidal watches during his UFC 239 fight against welterweight Ben Askren.
Longtime favorite Stephen Wonderboy Thompson returns to the Octagon this weekend by taking the stage at the UFC Vegas 17 main event on the 19th. December via ESPN+ against welterweight Jeff Neal, eleventh in the rankings.
Miracle Boy is in 5th place in the division and hopes that a victory over the upcoming Neil will bring him one step closer to another title boost. Thompson has a 2-2 record in his last four games, with wins over Jorge Masvidal and Vicente Luke and losses over Anthony Petters and Darren Till.
When he defeats Neal on Saturday night, Thompson told Heavy that it wouldn’t be enough to take Kamaru Usman’s belt, but he hopes that victory will prepare him for a fight with another Top 5 fighter. And he has a specific fight in mind, a rematch with UFC Baddest Motherf*****, Masvidal.
They fought at UFC 217 in November 2017, and Wonderboy defeated Gamebred by unanimous decision.
lands in a welterweight fight against Jorge Masvidal at CFU 217 in Madison Square Garden on the 4th. November 2017 in New York.
I hope that after a good victory here, we will find someone in the top five, said Mr. Thompson. I don’t think I have a chance at the title with a good win against Jeff Neal. I know Jorge Masvidal mentioned my name and wanted to rename it.
The community joke that Masvidal is the worst ***** mom, a title he won at UFC 244 in November 2019, earned Wonderboy the title of Best ***** mom by the fans.
Why not the NMF versus the BMF, Wonderbody continued. So it’d be cool, it’d be a good game, fun.
Masvidal, ranked no. 4, last participated in July when he took the welterweight belt in Usman and lost unanimously. Masvidal is connected with Colby Covington for the first place in the standings, but nothing official.
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Wonderboy has not fought in more than a year, has suffered multiple injuries, including training with former champion.
GettyStephen Thompson (L) fights Vicente Luke in the welterweight period at UFC 244 in Madison Square Garden on 02. November 2019 in New York.
UFC Vegas 17 will be Wonderboy’s first fight since his victory over Luke at UFC 244 in November 2019. Thompson put down a great performance, hurting Luke several times and hitting him before he made a unanimous, dominant decision.
However, Thompson was put aside with injuries for most of 2020, suffering from two broken arms and torn cartilage.
It was in my hands at the beginning of the year, Thompson said. After all, I broke both my arms in the fight with Vicente Luke and it took a long time to heal. Because I could clench the fist, the tendons and everything super hard, I had to do physiotherapy and so on. You probably don’t have good circulation in your hands after all, so it just takes longer to heal.
The prodigy healed both hands, but sustained another injury in the summer while helping his training partner, former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, prepare for his fight against Omari Akhmedov.
I was 100% then, continued Wonderboy, in the middle of the summer [helping] Chris Weidman prepare for the fight. He finally picked me up and threw me upside down, and I tore the cartilage out of my clavicle. So I was there for a while.
Thompson, however, has confirmed that he is fit to fight again. Right now I feel 100% ready to rock and roll.
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UFC Vegas 17 – Thompson’s first fight in the COVID 19 era where he didn’t care about fighting without thecrowd.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fixture hunters fight without a crowd. Some fighters said it had a negative impact on their performance because they felt like the crowd, while others enjoyed the experience.
For Wonderboy, a fight without an audience is no problem.
I don’t really think about it, because when I’m in the Octagon, I usually don’t hear the crowd, you have a limited vision, Wonderboy said. I’m a little excited about it, you know? Being able to see how it’s going, listening to their coaches, listening to opposing coaches.
Thompson then returned for his promotion debut, a knockout of Dan Stitgen in the first game of UFC 143 in February 2012.
My very first fight in the UFC was something like that, he moved on. It was the first fight on the map, and there was no one in the stands. So I tried a few years ago, but I’m ready for this time.
Crowd or no Crowd, Thompson’s ready to get back in the game and hit anyone who’s at Neal’s feet.
This is gonna be fun, Wonderboy. A round robin of five to five minutes with one of the best players in the league. Some call Jeff Neal the dark horse of the division. He’s really, really good and fought with some really tough guys. He’s undefeated in the UFC, a run of five straight-wins. So, you know, I’m ready for a better Jeff Neal this Saturday.
After beating Brian Camozzi in the Dana White Tuesday Night Series in July 2017, Neal won the promotion 5-0, beating Mike Perry, Nico Price and Belal Muhammad.
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