Stephen Thompson has trained differently for his match against Anthony Pettis for the UFC on ESPN+ 6 main event in Nashville, TN this weekend. Thompson has been seen as a counter striker most of his career but he recognizes when it is time for a change in camp and he has done that in preparation for Pettis. When two mixed martial artists that both come from a karate-based background face off, a more than fan friendly fight is what they can expect in Nashville this weekend.
Thompson told The Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour podcast, “Anthony Pettis, his goal is to fight the best guys in the world,” and added, with him being a striker and I, being a striker and we want to test our skills one another.”
“We’re gonna put on a show come March 23.”- Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
Thompson says that the style he seems to have grown the reputation for was to fit the type of opponents he has faced in the past. “I’ve been facing a lot of wrestlers in my whole UFC career,” said Thompson. “They kind of lured me into this counter-punching game plan that I had for these guys because they’re aggressive and that counterpunching plays right into that game.”
Thompson also said this fight excites him because of their similar backgrounds. “Anthony Pettis has a tae-kwon-do background, I have a karate background and I believe he is more prepared for my style than anyone else I have faced.” Thompson also adds that him coming up from lightweight to welterweight should not be counted against him because other fighters have moved up and “done work” in the welterweight division. Donald Cerrone and Michael Chiesa were some examples Thompson gave when speaking of Pettis.
Thompson is prepared for a five-round war with Pettis who, aside from this fight admits he is a fan of. The UFC welterweight division seems to have gotten very interesting in 2019 and with the new champion fans got at UFC 235 along with Askren’s entrance to the division certainly makes for a lot of entertaining bouts in the future. This weekend’s winner will likely be in those conversations.