Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has still not revealed what it intends to do with Leon Edwards after Khamzat Chimaev was forced out of their headlining bout at UFC Fight Island 8 on Jan. 20, 2021. But the promotion is down one less option, as Stephen Thompson has ruled himself out as a potential fill-in.
According to “Wonderboy,” he would have been the first man to throw his name in the hat to face “Rocky” but after suffering a leg injury during his fight against Geoff Neal at UFC Vegas 17 a few weeks ago, he is out of the running.
“He was who I was shooting for to begin with,” Thompson said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “Of course he was not having it. I’m not really sure what happened with Khamzat, but I would have loved to stepped out there and fought him for sure.
But at this point, with the injury and stuff, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen but I would love to have faced him. That would have been awesome.”
According to Thompson, he suffered the injury mid-fight but eventually went on to win a unanimous decision win. Now, the hard-hitting Welterweight will wait to see the results of an MRI to see when he can resume his combat career.
“I get an MRI on it tomorrow. We’ve got to see what kind of tear it’s going to be. I think I have a quad tear. Hopefully it’s just a muscle and not the tendon. If it’s a tendon, I’ll have to have surgery. I couldn’t come out of that fight unscathed. Come on!”
Thompson is currently riding a two-fight win streak with back-to-back wins over Neal and Vicente Luque. For now, it seems the only logical option is to have either Michael Chiesa or Neil Magny — who are set to co-headline UFC Fight Island 8 — step in and fill the void.