Stephen Thompson will be using his loss to Belal Muhammad as motivation.
Thompson was entering his UFC Vegas 45 co-main event against Muhammad coming off a dominant loss to Gilbert Burns at UFC 264. Burns was able to take “Wonderboy” down and control him for the win. Against Muhammad, Thompson knew his foe would look to do the same game plan but he was confident he would be able to keep it standing.
Ultimately, Muhammad got Thompson down seven times and earned a lopsided decision win. The fight was never close and after the loss, Thompson took to social media to release a statement where he apologized for his performance.
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“I want to apologize to my coaches, my family and my fans for my performance. I’m motivated not broken,” Thompson wrote on Instagram.
With the loss to Belal Muhammad, Stephen Thompson is 16-6-1 and is on a two-fight losing streak. He’s just 2-4 in his last six and at 38-years-old it’s likely his time as a top contender is over. He lost to the 10th-ranked welterweight who was able to take him down at will as, throughout his career, he has shown off solid takedown defense and has been able to keep to standing except for these two fights. However, before the two setbacks, he did beat Geoff Neal and Vicente Luque to show he still can hang with some of the best fighters at welterweight as long as they strike with him.
Although Thompson is on a two-fight skid, it doesn’t seem he is looking at retirement. Instead, he’s focused on improving on his skills and returning to the Octagon sometime in 2022 where he looks to get back into the win column. When he does return, he will have to fight someone in the bottom half of the rankings or possibly someone unranked.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime