After his Michel Pereira UFC 291 match cancelled, Stephen Thompson urges for Kamaru Usman fight

Stephen Thompson refuses to fight Michel Pereira in a catchweight bout at UFC 291. Pereira had missed the proposed welterweight bout by 4 pounds. Thompson’s decision to not fight drew praise from fighters in the MMA community. However, the UFC was not thrilled with ‘Wonderboy’ for the stance he took.

The last time Thompson took on a fighter who missed weight, he lost. Darren Till was the opponent and the win over Thompson landed him a title shot over then-champion, Tyron Woodley. One of the fighters who came to the forefront to support Thompson was none other than former champion and current number 1 ranked UFC welterweight, Kamaru Usman. Israel Adesanya too came up to the defence of Thompson.

Stephen Thompson urges Kamaru Usman fight

Stephen Thompson took on his YouTube channel and opened up about what’s going on in his professional life. Thompson got an alternate fight offer for UFC 291 against Jack Della Maddelena. But he wants to face Kamaru Usman. Thompson seeks challenges against strong opponents.  Thompson declined the ‘JDM’  fight due to the strain of the canceled Pereira fight’s extended training camp.

Thompson’s decision caused Dana White to publicly call him out as a fighter who declines to fight. White was adamant that Thompson declined to face Ian Garry, someone whom Thompson has hinted as a possible opponent. In a surprising turn of events, former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman called out Stephen Thompson during an interview with ‘TMZ Sports’. Usman sees Thompson as a fighter from his generation that he did not fight due to unforeseen circumstances.

The potential Thompson vs. Usman matchup is fascinating. Thompson’s striking skills versus Usman’s wrestling skills create a fascinating stylistic matchup. Usman has already called out Thompson and as Thompson actively pursues the fight, anticipation for the fight grows in the hearts of the MMA fans.

Usman is coming off consecutive losses to Leon Edwards. With a title shot not coming his way anytime soon, the Thompson fight is best suited for Usman. On the other hand, a win over Usman could put Thompson in pole position for a title shot.

Why was the Stephen Thompson vs. Michel Pereira UFC 291 match canceled?

The UFC 291 match between Michel Pereira and Stephen Thompson was unexpectedly canceled hours before the pay-per-view event. Pereira weighed in at 174 pounds while Stephen Thompson made weight at 170.5 pounds. This wasn’t the first time that Pereira missed weight.

UFC 291 loses main card fight: Stephen Thompson vs. Michel Pereira off

Pereira is a dynamic striker and a matchup between him and Thompson would have provided to an already stacked UFC 291 fight card. Even though Thompson has been very inefficient against wrestlers, his fights against strikers have been absolute bangers as evidenced by his last fight against Kevin Holland. Pereira was riding a five-fight win streak and in his last bout with Santiago Ponzinibbio won fight of the night honors. 

After the weight miss by Pereira, Thompson was offered a catchweight bout with a percentage of Pereira’s purse going to Thompson, But Thompson refused citing his fight against Darren Till as a mistake he wouldn’t repeat again. Thompson fought an overweight Darren Till in England and lost a controversial decision.

Pereira is a very big welterweight and he would be forced to move up in weight by the promotion. Thompson has also gotten into the bad books of the UFC after his refusal to fight Pereira and subsequent offers against Ian Garry and Jack Della Maddalena. 

What do you think of Dana White’s treatment of Stephen Thompson? Comment below!




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