Two-time UFC welterweight title challenger, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson has this evening, expressed his interest in a potential matchup with the popular, Nick Diaz – ahead of the latter’s potential return to active competition early next year.
Thomspon, who last featured in the Octagon at UFC 244 in November last year – returned from his first career knockout loss, with a striking clinic display against gritty Brazilian contender, Vicente ‘The Silent Assassin’ Luque. Avoiding surgery, Thompson suffered injuries to both hands during his three-round win over the New Jersey-based finisher.
Since then, Thompson, who has found himself in 170-pound limbo in regards to his next possible Octagon opponent – took to his official Twitter account on Monday evening – writing of his willingness to meet with the former WEC and Strikeforce welterweight titleholder upon his potential UFC return.
“I’m down to welcome him (Nick Diaz) back to the ranks! Would be an honour….lets see where he’s at! 👊🏻🙏🏻“
I’m down to welcome him back to the ranks! Would be an honor….let’s see where he’s at! 👊🏼🙏🏻— Stephen Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) September 7, 2020
Forced to rebound from his premier stoppage defeat in a ten year professional mixed martial arts career, South Carolina karate ace, Thompson suffered a buzzer-beating knockout loss to Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis at UFC Fight Night Nashville in March last year, despite largely containing and beating the former lightweight best on the feet.
Prior to that loss, ‘Wonderboy’ headlined UFC Fight Night Liverpool opposite hometown hero, Darren ‘The Gorilla’ Till, losing via a close unanimous decision, with twenty-two of twenty-five media outlets scoring the main event in favour of the former. Thompson suffered an MCL tear during the five-round clash.
For Diaz, the skilled boxer and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner has yet to feature in the Octagon since his UFC 183 ‘No Contest’ alongside former middleweight champion, Anderson Silva all the way back in 2015. His most recent win came at UFC 137 in 2011 – where he took a largely comfortable decision win over former two-weight world champion, B.J. Penn.
Having completed a fourteen-week training program recently, which included a test weight cut to the welterweight limit, Diaz, according to his manager, Kevin Mubenga – is “100%” planning an Octagon return in early 2021.