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Stephen Thompson Calls Out Colby Covington For His Gimmick

Stephen Thompson, a former UFC title challenger, is not a fan of the way Colby Covington goes about promoting fights.

To put it nicely, Stephen Thompson is not a fan of Colby Covington’s way of promoting fights.

Thompson, a former challenger to the UFC title, was a guest on Submission Radio recently and Covington came up.

Check out what “Wonderboy” had to say below along with his recover from an injury and more.

His current hand injury

“leading up to the fight it was really good. I injured it a year ago versus Vicente Luque. Ended up breaking both my left and my right hand. And it’s my right hand and my index finger, the knuckle, that’s giving me a problem now. It was great leading up to the fight. After the fight, I’m not sure if I just traumatized it or injured it more, but about a week afterwards I still have trouble making a fist. A lot of swelling in the join. So, just kind of painful at the moment.”

“I just want to make sure everything’s okay. Doctor thinks it’s a torn ligament, but we’ll see.”

“I’m hoping it doesn’t. I’m praying that it’s just something minor. Maybe just a little bit of physical therapy and then I’m good to go. The timeline is April or May. I wanna really step back out there in April or May. So, I’m still working out at home, still at the gym, still training, helping guys get ready for their fights, still sparring. But just keeping light with my right hand, just using it as my jab hand for now. So, if I hit a little bit too hard or I accidentally hit an elbow, it’s one of those where I start breaking into some serious sweat because of the pain. But at this point I’m hoping that it’s quick recovery.”

On wanting to fight Leon Edwards in April when Khamzat Chimaev withdrew

I know, man, I really wanted to step back out there. I was hoping that the card was gonna be cancelled and they would try to push it to a later time. And I wanted to be first on Twitter to say, hey man, I’ve been trying to get this fight, let’s make it happen in April. I was hoping April or May. But he wanted to fight in March, so I wasn’t able to make that happen.”

On Belal jumping in against Edwards

“Belal Muhammad, he jumped in, which is excellent for him, man. I mean, he’s shooting his shot, he’s stepping back out there to face one of the best guys in the division. So, hats off to him.”

On wanting to fight Kamaru Usman next

“I wanted it to be me [to fight Edwards in April], but at this point, I’m kind glad it didn’t happen, because the only person in the top five that hasn’t fought for the title is yours truly. Well, obviously the titleholder, Kamaru Usman. I fought for the title twice, but not Kamaru Usman. So, I’m pushing for that, man. There’s a lot of people on social media, the fans are kind behind it as well, wanting to see me fight Usman. So, I’m keeping my fingers crossed at this point.”

Why he makes more sense than Masvidal as Usman’s next opponent

“I’m hoping that this will be pretty soon, because I know they were talking about Jorge Masvidal, but Jorge Masvidal’s last fight was Usman. And Usman said he wanted that fight, he’s the one that called him out, but then he retracted and said, I’m not gonna be that generous. So, he’s like, anybody can get it so at this point. I’ve been trying to be loud and proud on social media, I’m trying to do things like this, interviews with guys such as yourself to try and push this and make this happen. And as of right now, the UFC is behind anything the fans are behind. So, the fans are kind wanting it, and I’m wanting it obviously. I would love to fight Usman. Usman is the champ. Bro, I love him as the champion, to be honest with you. He’s a great fighter, great competitor, but I think I can go out there, I can win this thing, man. I told everybody in 2021 that the belt is gonna be mine. So, that’s what I’m pushing for.”

Why Leon Edwards doesn’t deserve a title shot if he beats Belal Muhammad

If Leon Edwards would’ve taken that fight earlier last year, I would have said obviously yes. He just hasn’t been active in almost two years. The guy hasn’t fought in almost two years, and it’s almost like he’s turning everybody down. I’ve called him out numerous times. There’s some other guys that have been calling him out, and he’s just not taking the fight. So, the only reason he was supposed to fight Khamzat was because the UFC had kicked him out of the division, out of the top five, and I guess kind of made him fight him. Said, ‘hey, we’ll get you back in the top if you fight this guy,’ and he’s like, alright. I’m kind of speculating that’s how it went down. But I don’t know, man. At this point, the guy hasn’t fought in two years. Nobody in the top five wants to fight him because he hasn’t been active. I mean, you hear Colby Covington talk about it as well, which makes sense. And then you’ve got Belal Muhammad, who – I mean, is he in the top 15 I think, maybe? But I don’t see it. If he goes out there and beats this guy, yeah, okay, sure. But I don’t know if he deserves a title shot at this point. I think he needs to fight somebody in the top. Myself or Jorge Masvidal or Colby Covington to get that shot, and that’s just me. If that was a year ago, I would say, yeah, heck yeah, he deserves it. But now he’s been sitting out for so long, it’s like, nah man, you gotta have one or two more fights before.”

On the welterweight division being stuck with guys not wanting to fight each other

“Yeah, and I thought that after this last fight with Burns it would kind of loosen up a little bit. But I guess now everybody’s seeing themselves fighting for the title. I mean, my last several fights have been guys significantly ranked behind me. I mean Vicente Luque, Geoff Neal, and even before that. At some point in time these guys are gonna have to face somebody behind them. I mean, it is. I was expecting after this fight with Burns that guys would start taking more fights and things were gonna happen.”

On Usman schooling Covington and why he didn’t see that fight as close

“I don’t think Colby Covington, I think he had one fight after he got pieced up by Usman, and even in that fight I thought he was schooled. I thought he got schooled by Usman.”

“I didn’t think it was close at all. I thought Usman was piecing him up striking-wise. Yeah, he was throwing a lot of volume, but not a whole lot was landing, Colby Covington. Usman was landing every shot, and he was such a clean fighter. And you saw it too in his last fight with Burns. Like, his striking is getting better every freaking time you see him, and that’s a scary dude. A guy that evolves like that and gets better every time you see him. And you expect that out of somebody like the champ.”

Why Usman won’t fight Thompson like he did against Burns

“Will he fight that way with somebody like me? I don’t think so. I think he goes back to his wrestling. I don’t see him wanting to stand and bang with me. The last two guys that he’s fought, Colby Covington and Burns, were wrestlers. So, I figured he’d try to keep the fight standing. But with guys like myself and Jorge Masvidal, he’s looking to get us to the cage and get us to the ground. But against somebody like me, who’s got the third best takedown defense in the division, he’s gonna have a hard time for sure.”

Shutting down Usman/GSP comparisons

“He is the best at the moment. And people are talking about him being up there with Georges St-Pierre, and I’m like, hold on, put the brakes on for a second. Like, you’ve defended it three times, and George St-Pierre I think was like nine or ten or twelve or something like that, he’s defended the title. I’m not really sure, but it was up there. And you’re not quite there yet. Yeah, he’s on the way, but he’s not quite there. That’s just in my eyes.”

His message to Kamaru Usman

“Just let him know that I’m right behind him. To watch out for me. And he even said himself that one of the hardest guys in the division to prepare for is me. I’m gonna give him the hardest fight. But I’m getting better everyday too. Not just with my striking, but with my wrestling, my Jiu Jitsu, and wherever the fight goes I’m gonna be ready for it. And if we fought each other, I’m gonna be the one with my hands raised. So, let’s go, baby!”

If Masvidal having a full camp makes a difference to his rematch with Usman

“I think so. I think it does make a difference. I mean, you saw in the last fight that it wasn’t until the later rounds that he started getting taken down. Jorge Masvidal has great takedown defense, and he showed it. I think he stuffed 12 of Usman’s shots. But when it started getting late later in the rounds, his cardio started to fade, that’s when Kamaru Usman just kinda laid away with his game plan, took him down, controlled him on the ground. But yeah, I think with a stronger camp and better cardio, Jorge Masvidal’s got a chance, man. And that’s not a guy you can lay down on. He is crafty everywhere. So, if that fight happens, I’m definitely looking forward to it. I’m watching both fighters very closely.”

On who he wants if he doesn’t get Usman

“If I don’t get Usman next, man, give me anybody. Give me Colby. Give me Leon Edwards if he wins. Give me Nate Diaz, cause I know he’s taking about coming back in April and May wanting to fight at 170. I would love that fight, man.”

On how him versus Covington goes

“I would love that fight though. I think it’s a great test before I fight for the title. To test my takedown defense against a guy like that, and my cardio. I’m known for my cardio. I don’t get tired, man. The last time anybody thought I was getting tired was the Matt Brown fight, and it was due to a weight cut. And I’ve got that down packed ever since then. So, I think that would be a fun fight for sure, man. I think I would piece him up. I know my striking is a lot better than Usman’s. So, if I stuff that shot – and I’ve fought some very good wrestlers in the UFC, and I would love that fight as well.”

On not being a fan of Colby’s persona

“I hear as a person he’s actually a really nice guy, but his persona I don’t like. I think it’s kind of cringe. He really doesn’t… it comes across he really doesn’t mean what he’s saying, and sometimes he can get a little too personal with people. And it’s like, come on, man, you’re kind of going below the belt there. So, I don’t like his persona. Now, him as a legit human being, I hear he’s a great guy. But his UFC persona, I just want to poke him in the eye, and like, stop it, dude. Stop. So, that’s just me.”

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