Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson has been anxiously awaiting his opportunity to return while searching for opponents since late last year.
Unfortunately the former two-time title contender didn’t get booked until the UFC Fight Night card in Nashville on Saturday night where he will face former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis in the main event.
As frustrating as it was trying to find somebody willing to step up to face him, Thompson was ultimately satisfied that Pettis was ready for the challenge.
In the weeks leading to the fight, the UFC also announced another card coming up in June that is scheduled to take place in Greenville, South Carolina, which just so happens to be Thompson’s backyard.
So as much as Thompson is competing to get a win on Saturday night and hopefully put his name back in title contention at 170 pounds, the chance to fight at home might be the best motivation of all.
“How can you come to my hometown and not have me on that card? That’s the plan,” Thompson told MMAWeekly. “I hope to go out there and to pray for a good fight but a healthy fight. Hopefully me and Anthony will come away unscathed or healthy after the fight but that’s the plan. If the UFC is coming to my hometown, I better be on the card. So hopefully everybody will be seeing me on that card. Hopefully, headlining it. Not sure who yet but hopefully we’ll figure it out after this fight.
“I’ve got one focus right now and that’s Anthony Pettis but if you’re coming to Greenville, the UFC better have me on that card. Heck yeah, that’s motivating. I’m ready to go out there and put on a show.”
While Thompson has traveled at times for his training camps, he has always primarily called South Carolina his home where he teaches and works out of his family’s Upstate Karate in Simpson.
Now he hopes to headline the first ever UFC card in South Carolina and the only way to ensure that spot is to defeat Pettis on Saturday night in Nashville.