Coming off back-to-back losses for just the second time in his career, and creeping up on 40 years of age, some were left wondering if Stephen Thompson was starting to look at the end of his time as an elite MMA fighter—following his defeat at the hands of Belal Muhammad.
For his part, however, ‘Wonderboy’ has sounded like he’s anything other than done, telling fans on his YouTube channel that he “can’t believe people are saying that I’m old and I should retire.” To that end he recently made it clear in an interview with RT Sport, that he loves “to fight these up and coming guys.” And back in November, Thompson spoke to Submission Radio, where he talked specifically about the idea of a fight with ‘Borz’.
“It’s right there. Like, one little more thing, and then I’m on it,” Thompson said, speaking of the Chimaev hype train. “And in the future, you could possibly, definitely be seeing us fight as well. I mean, he could be fighting Gilbert Burns. He’d be right there with me, with all the top 5.”
That may not have been the boldest callout in the world, but it seems that was all it took for Chimaev to start asking questions.
“He said maybe I’m gonna fight with him in future. Like this shit, brother are you sure?” Chimaev stated on a recent video blog uploaded to his YouTube channel. “Your skills, your level, like, is weak. If Belal hold you down? Brother I can put you under the cage, brother. I don’t know these guys, how they think they’ll win against me. Ten fights, ten finishes—and I didn’t lose one second in the fight. I beat everybody. These guys don’t know I’m coming for them. The real money is here Dana White. They know that.”
No word yet on just when either Thompson or Chimaev may be making their return to the cage. The Chechen-born Swede is fresh off another dominating victory, having beat Li Jingliang via first round submission at UFC 267. And while ‘Borz’ has been connected to potential bouts with several top 15 fighters in the welterweight division, as of yet none of those matches have been able to materialize.