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Stephen Thompson Responds To Colby Covington, Talks UFC 261

Former UFC title challenger Stephen Thompson was a guest on Submission Radio recently to discuss his “trash talk” rivalry with Colby Covington.

Thompson also talked the upcoming UFC 261 rematch between UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal.

Reaction to Masvidal/Usman 2 being made for UFC 261

“I was definitely disappointed to hear that I wouldn’t be getting it. I mean, it was a long shot. You know, there’s a lot of guys that are ranked above me that are looking for that shot, and Colby Covington and a lot of these guys have already faced him. Of course I was pushing. I was the only guy he hadn’t fought. So, I thought that would be interesting. But then again, I think about it, Jorge Masvidal has been in the limelight for a long time, he’s one of the most popular guys in the UFC, and the fact that he mentioned that if he got the title, he would want to run it back with me. So, I’m not too disappointed. Hopefully he goes out there and gets the W, Jorge Masvidal. So that way I can face him, man. I know he showed interest in the past. His last fight when he fought Usman, he wanted to run it back with me. So, hopefully he still wants to. So, keeping my fingers crossed.”

Why he’s picking Masvidal to beat Usman

“If you go back and watch the last fight that these guys had, Jorge Masvidal was doing fairly well stuffing the takedowns, keeping the fight standing, until he started to get tired late fourth and fifth round he started to get taken down. So, I think with a full training camp, I do believe that Jorge Masvidal will put up a harder and better fight.”

“I’m leaning a little towards Jorge Masvidal for this one.”

“I think it’s just because I really want to see him win the fight. And, you know, I’m kinda biased a little bit, obviously. I kinda gave you my thoughts on that. But I do believe that it can go either way. Like, before, I had Usman winning. Like, he was definitely gonna win. What was it, a two-week training camp, or short notice for Jorge Masvidal? So, I knew Usman had it, cause that guy is always in shape man. But now that he’s got a training camp, and on top of that, he’s faced him before, so he knows what he’s gonna bring to the table. I don’t know, man, it’s hard to kind of put him out. Like, he does some crazy stuff. Like, everybody knew that Ben Askren was gonna beat him, right? And then you saw what he did in the first round. I mean, he pulls stuff out like that out of his hat on the reg, and you don’t know what’s gonna happen, and it’s scary facing a guy like that.”

“I think it’s great for Jorge Masvidal, because he’s faced the guy, he knows he’s gonna do if he goes out there with the same gameplan. And you don’t really see, I mean, I think that’s what you expect from this guy. He’s gonna wanna get him to the ground. You don’t see a tremendous amount of improvements from Usman. I know his striking has improved. But you don’t see anything crazy. He doesn’t do anything that surprises you, like spin kicks, or doing anything wow like flying knees like Jorge Masvidal brings to the game. Like, you gotta worry about that. Like, what Jorge Masvidal’s gonna’s bring to this fight.”

On Covington’s comments about him

“Colby Covington talked about me not too recently on an interview that he had about me being 40 years old. I’m not 40, okay. I’m two years from it still. I’m a young 38-year-old. Everybody’s aging me out, it seems like. I’m like, what? Look at Jan. I mean, he’s 38 years old and champ. Blachowicz. So, you saw my last two performances. Don’t age me out like that. And I hope they’re not doing that.”

“I thought it was pretty cool, beccause not a whole lot of people say my name really in the top. Like, not many people have really talked about me, and I’m glad that somebody did, which was Colby. And I couldn’t help but kind of laugh, cause he was kind of funny about it. He cracks me up, dude. The way he said, you know, ‘he’s a 40-year-old man and he’s identifying himself as a boy, I guess anybody can identify themselves as anything these days’. I don’t know, that just kind of had me laughing, bro. ‘But he watches cartoons and drives kids buses, how is that scary?’. I thought it was great. But it was funny because I’ve been in the UFC for almost eight years, and that’s all you’ve got? Is that all you got? It’s like, come on, man. I guess if I gave him like a week or two, he’ll come up with something. So, I thought it was funny.”

“So, I had a little fun with that, and he said I wasn’t the scariest. So, if I’m not scary, well then fight me. Then fight me, bro. So, I don’t think I heard anything back from him. But yeah, I kind of had to put that out there. Yeah, you called my name, you called me out, so do something. You called me out, so fight me. Not a whole lot of people are saying a whole lot about me at this point, and I am a difficult opponent to prepare for. And I know a loss with me would definitely negate that shot for the title next. So, they’re not wanting to fight me, and it shows. Everybody in the top five is just wanting it. So, I’m just kind of keeping my fingers crossed. Hopefully somebody falls out or somebody gets injured and I can jump in there. So, I’m back in the gym, I’m training.”

“It would be an awesome fight, me and Colby Covington. And of course at this point I’d love to face anybody that’s ranked above me. And even if it’s Colby. I’m glad he’s saying my name. But that would be a great fight, man. I would love that, and that would kind of show where I’m at for the next shot at the title. Cause Kamaru Usman is a good striker. He outstruck Colby Covington, and he’s a high-level wrestler as well such as Colby Covington. So, that would be a great fight for sure.”

On why Leon Edwards shouldn’t have asked for a title shot after his last fight

“You can’t really ask for the title after something like that. I mean, you win, you don’t win, it’s just, you poked the guy in the eye. Like, you get a title shot after that? Come on, man. You haven’t fought in almost two years. No, I’m kind of with Colby on that. Like, you don’t deserve it. You know you’ve got to fight and really show something. Do more than just eye pokes. But he did look in shape. He looks fast, but he’s kind of the same old Leon Edwards.”

Why his father would’ve slapped him if he asked for a title shot like that

“He would say no. Like, you didn’t win anything. Yeah, you were winning the battle, but you didn’t win the war. He would have definitely probably slapped me in the face and say, no, you definitely need to run it back, or fight somebody and really show out in order to get that title shot. So, he would have definitely slapped me if I would have asked for the title and then ended up poking the guy in the eye and the fight ended up being a no contest. He’d be like, no, you ain’t getting that shot that way. So, you know, you gotta be honorable about it and either run it back or face somebody like myself to really prove it.”

On being open to being the backup for Masvidal/Usman 2

“You know what, when you’re given a shot like that, you’ve got to kind of go for it. Especially cause you may not get it again, or have to work extra, extra hard to get back up there. I would love to be that guy, to really step back up, to really be that backup. So, yeah, I think that’d be awesome.”

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