Stephen Thompson is focused on mounting 1 closing UFC title operate, relatively than squaring off from major prospect Ian Garry.
‘The Future’ picked up a dominant selection earn over Neil Mangy prior to calling out Thomspon at UFC 292 in Boston on Saturday night time.
Just as enthusiasts were receiving psyched about a clash involving two of welterweight’s greatest strikers, Dana White exposed that ‘Wonderboy’ had previously turned the combat down.
The 40-year-previous was amazed by Garry’s effectiveness but suggests he is concentrated on combating previous champion Kamaru Usman and is uninterested in experiencing an individual who just broke into the rankings.
“Great overall performance by Ian,” Thompson advised talkSPORT.com.
“He did contact me out. He’s been contacting me out like nuts this calendar year.
“You know, he’s relocating up the rankings and, at this position, I don’t want to be a gatekeeper.
“My concentration appropriate now is a person who a short while ago known as me out as very well, who was rated range 1 for a pretty long time, and was a champ – Kamaru Usman.
“That fight will make perception, particularly for me, someone who is 40 decades previous and needs to go for that a single very last title shot.”
The karate expert was invited to sq. off against Garry at UFC 295 on November 11, times right after Garry known as him out.
“I acquired a get in touch with from my administration,” Thompson added.
“We are sitting here, seeking to perform with this Usman battle, seeking to make it come about.
“[My manager] gets a contact from the UFC expressing, ‘Hey, would you battle Ian at MSG [Madison Square Garden]. Literally right right after he referred to as me out.
“I’m like, ‘Look, I’m not seeking to be a gatekeeper.’ I stated the same detail I’m indicating to you, ‘I want this fight with Kamaru Usman, we the two want it.’
“If it’s versus a man who is coming up the rankings or the quantity 1 contender, that’s who I’m heading for.
“That’s a no-brainer for me, primarily at my age, not wanting to be a gatekeeper and wanting to go for that 1 final title operate.
“Kamaru, it just will make feeling.”