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Morning Report: Stephen Thompson discusses loss to Belal Muhammad, says he has no plans to retire anytime soon

Stephen Thompson
Stephen Thompson
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

2021 was a bad year for Stephen Thompson but just because he’s had a bad year, “Wonderboy” isn’t even considering calling it quits.

Earlier this month, Thompson took on Belal Muhammad in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 45; things did not go well for him. Unable to stop Muhammad’s takedowns, Thompson was dominated over the course of 15 minutes, losing all three rounds with one judge even scoring two 10-8s against Thompson. It was the second such defeat for the two-time UFC welterweight title challenger, having dropped a similar unanimous decision to Gilbert Burns in July, but this one was the result of his weight cut — or more specifically — his rehydration, according to Thompson.

“I lost my fight – got manhandled for three rounds,” Thompson said on his YouTube channel. “Yeah, man – it was a sucky experience, to be honest with you. I don’t know why this happens, but I had a great camp. Camp was awesome. I was in the greatest shape of my life. I was in shape, I felt strong, and then things start to kind of get a little weird whenever you’re getting ready to go out. You’re in the back kind of warming up and your legs start to feel tingly. That’s not a good sign.

“My weight cut was great, actually. I got down in weight super fast, way easier than my last one, and weight cut was good. I think maybe it had something to do with my rehydration – not sure. But I felt exhausted, felt super tired right out of the first round. I was tired. I didn’t want to say anything to my coaches or anything that my legs were feeling tingly...

“Everybody’s expecting me to go out there and just put a whooping on this guy and then he ends up throwing me around for three rounds. I don’t know. I don’t know why. Hopefully something better will come out from it.”

“Better” seems unlikely for Thompson at this point. Thompson has lost four of seven since coming up short in his welterweight title bids against then-champion Tyron Woodley and at 38 years old many fans have suggested it may be time for Wonderboy to hang up the gloves. Thompson disagrees though. Before the Muhammad fight, Thompson said he planned to fight for many more years and even after his loss he has no intention of walking away.

“I can’t believe people are saying that I’m old and I should retire,” Thompson said. “I feel like people that do retire, when they sit down on the chair, they just feel like they should retire. Like just, their body’s beat up, aches and pains.… When I sit here and I’m sitting down in this chair, I feel great. I feel fine. I feel better than I was five years ago. I just don’t get it.”


TOP STORIES

FOTY. Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler takes home 2022 Fight of the Year honors.

Challenge. Dana White offers Jake Paul drug testing challenge, responds to Paul’s callouts of Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal.

Friends. Chris Weidman on Jake Paul: ‘Why aren’t we hearing him call Anderson Silva out?’

Pipe dream. Colby Covington pitches best-of-7 series with Kamaru Usman: ‘We’re so evenly matched.’


VIDEO STEW

Best UFC Commentary reactions of 2021.

UFC Event of the Year nominees.

Bellator Champions - 2021 in Review.

Belal Muhammad calling out Colby Covington.

Francis Ngannou’s contract situation, in cartoon form.


LISTEN UP

The Co-Main Event. Rounding up the best of 2021.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Beef.

Miesha staying on top of things.

Blond Brunson.

I don’t think I like this.

I cannot believe this is a real thing.

Forrest is still great.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Benson Henderson (28-11) vs. Islam Mamedov (20-1-1); Bellator 273, Jan. 29.

Henry Corrales (19-6) vs. Aiden Lee (10-5); Bellator 273, Jan. 29.

Ben Parrish (5-1) vs. Sullivan Cauley (2-0); Bellator 273, Jan. 29.

Ilir Latifi (15-8, 1 NC) vs. Alexandr Romanov (15-0); UFC Fight Night, Feb. 18.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Annnnnd, we’re back! I hope everyone had a good holiday (for those that celebrate), thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.