Skinny G Podcast Episode 8: Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson
Two fighters who are at loggerheads in the build up to a fight are often seen embracing after like long lost members of family after, but not all of them. For some, the feud rages on and that seems to be the case for Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson as they build up to their fight at UFC 209 next month.
The two men clashed at UFC 205 last November and after five, five minute rounds, two of the three judges could not separate the two and the fight was ruled a majority draw. Three months down the line, the two have continued their feud back and forth in the media and with the rematch now set for March 4, it's only a matter of time before the rivalry is resumed in a physical form.
Speaking earlier this week to FloCombat, Thompson spoke about the angst between the two and said that he feels Woodley just needs to forget all of that and focus solely on the fight.
"You know, I try not to get into the stuff," Thompson said. "The only thing I want to happen, is Tyron, I don't want him to be distracted with all that. He's talking about race and how he's treated as one of the worst hated champions, but let's be honest, the guy hasn't been champion long enough to feel the effects I think.
"My true advice to him is to focus on the fight because I want Tyron to be a 170 fighter without any distractions when we go out there on March 4."
Back before their fight at UFC 205, Woodley made it very clear that Thompson was not someone that had his respect. Speaking last September, Woodley said that Thompson had his respect as an athlete, but not an everyday man.
"Wonderboy" hadn't forgotten this statement, but thinks that Woodley's opinion may have changed following their fight in November.
"You know, he's obviously said in the past he doesn't respect me--that he respects me as a fighter, but not as a man," Thompson said. "That was something [where] I was like, wait a second, I don't understand. But, I do think he does a little bit more after that last fight [because] he knows I'm not an easy guy to put away.
"A lot of these guys they pump themselves up by the trash talking and saying these things. I think he respects me to be honest with you."
While some would say the two would be destined for a trilogy if Thompson does win at UFC 209, the welterweight title challenger wasn't quick to say it would happen. Instead, Thompson said it would all depend in the manner of the victory and how it went down.
"I think it will depend on the fashion of the win," Thompson said. "I think if it's really, really close again then probably so. If we go out there and do business like we know and like I know we can do, and like don't leave it to the judges' eyes and get a legitimate win, then I think there is no need for a triple fight or a trilogy.
"We just have to go out there, I have to go out there do what I know I can and win in either a spectacular way or a unanimous decision."