Fighting Kamaru Usman: ‘I’m a Terrible Matchup for Him’

Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns

Getty UFC champ Kamaru Usman needs a new challenge, and Stephen Thompson is ready to offer it.

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman might already be on his way to facing former interim champ Colby Covington again in a rematch, but at least on UFC welterweight contender believes he could be on his way to changing UFC president Dana White’s mind about that. Stephen Thompson has twice challenged for the UFC welterweight championship in his career, but he’s not yet faced the division’s current king Usman. So “Wonderboy” believes a win over Gilbert Burns in the co-main event of UFC 264 on July 10 will solidify his standing about the rest of the contenders.

“Like who else is this guy going to fight? And then I think it was not too long ago he was talking about fighting Michael Chiesa and it’s like why wouldn’t it have been me? I think I’m a terrible matchup for him,” Thompson said per MMA Fighting.

Thompson, 38, is one of the most accomplished strikers in the sport. His pristine kickboxing skills make him a unique challenge for every UFC fighter he’s ever faced, and the 170-pounder is currently riding a two-fight win streak.

Thompson is ranked No. 4 in the UFC’s stacked welterweight division, and that places him in a good spot to get another crack at the title so long as he keeps winning fights.

Usman is ranked No. 2 on the UFC’s official pound-for-pound list behind Jon Jones.

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Thomspon Knows How He’d Attack UFC Champ

While he’s not yet had the chance to fight Usman, “Wonderboy” has already been thinking about how he’d attack the well-rounded champion.

“I love to break guys down, especially guys like Burns and Rory MacDonald that are very well rounded. For me, it’s a chess match that I have to figure out in the gym but also I’ve got to be able to adapt to them in the Octagon. That’s why I love this game. He’s the champ. He’s the guy that’s got the title and I’m not stopping until I face him,” Thompson said.

Moreover, Thompson believes a victory over Burns at UFC 264 would help get him closer to the fight he craves than he’s ever been before. Burns is ranked No. 2 in the division behind Covington, so Thompson knows grabbing the win would be a huge feather in his cap.

“I feel like that I’m the last man standing right now. A good win over Gilbert Burns, he’s going to have to face me,” Thompson said.

The other top contender is Leon Edwards who just defeated Nate Diaz at UFC 263. Edwards is ranked No. 3, but like Covington and Burns, Edwards has already fought Usman.

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UFC 264 on July 10

UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3 takes place on July 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Poirier defeated McGregor by second-round stoppage at UFC 257 in January 2021, and McGregor stopped Poirier in the first round in a featherweight contest in 2014.

That means the two lightweight stars are knotted 1-1, and they’re now headed into an important rubbermatch that will define their rivalry.

But UFC 264 also features the welterweight battle between Thompson and Burns, and there’s plenty of other top-notch UFC action on the card, too.

Thompson plans on beating Burns, and he hopes the win will put him in place to face Usman next.

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