Longtime UFC welterweight contender Stephen Thompson is scheduled to headline the UFC 264 co-main event against Gilbert Burns on July 10 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A victory over No. 3-ranked “Durinho” would put the former kickboxing phenom — currently seated at No. 4 in the welterweight division — on a very short list of eligible title contenders.
“I know that a good win over Gilbert Burns will put me up there with those guys,” Thompson told Submission Radio. “And like you said, I mean, Usman, everybody wants me to fight him cause I’m the only guy that hasn’t fought him in the top five. So, he’s fighting guys multiple times now.”
Thompson, 38, improved to 16-4-1 by scoring back-to-back wins over Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal and “Wonderboy” is hoping that his style of combat is enough to compel matchmakers to give him the nod over Covington and Edwards.
“I think I would be a bad match-up for him,” Thompson continued. “Yes, he’s a phenomenal wrestler and he’s got cardio for days, and now he’s knocking out one of the best strikers in the division, Jorge Masvidal. So, his striking is improved. And that’s what makes this fight so fun for me, is knowing that I’m fighting just the best version of Kamaru Usman. Obviously, I gotta get past Gilbert Burns. Not looking past him at all. But yeah, I know that’s there, I know that’s at the top of the list. But I got one guy that I’m focused on right now, and that’s in three weeks, Gilbert Burns, baby!”