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Stephen Thompson Recalls Cyborg-Magana Fight

Former UFC title contender Stephen Thompson appeared on a recent edition of “Submission Radio” to talk about his future and when he might return to action.

“Wonderboy” also gave his first-hand experience of the recent incident between Cris Cyborg and Angela Magana, as he was there with Chris Weidman.

Below is a transcript of the interview:

On being there when Cyborg and Angela Magana got in an altercation at the UFC Retreat

“Oh yeah, man, it was unbelievable. And Chris (Weidman), he’s trying to break it up, he’s trying to grab Cyborg. And Cyborg looks at him in a deep voice and is like, “don’t you touch me,” and he’s like, “oh my gosh, I’m not going to mess with her, I’m backing up”. He didn’t want to get in the middle of it. We tried, but yeah, it wasn’t happening.”

How the whole Cyborg/Magana altercation started

“We were all actually going to the UFC training facility that they had built – and it is awesome. Full training facility, the best of what’s in today. You know, cryotherapy machines, I mean, sleep pods, I mean, you got… anything you can think of is in this gym. It’s really cool. So, from what I understood was, Magana was doing a little bit of trash talking on social media. Now, I understand these two I think are in different weight classes, I believe, but she was doing some trash talking on social media and I guess Cyborg just didn’t let it go. I mean, she should have, you know, it’s trash talk on social media, but be the bigger person, let it all happen. She wasn’t gonna let it happen, she wasn’t going to let it slide. So I think she went up to her and just told her, “don’t talk trash about me on social media,” and Magana was kind of like taken back for a second, was like, oh my goodness. But then she started to grow some balls I guess, man, and started firing back at Cyborg. And then next thing you know, Cyborg smokes her. I mean, just wobbles her leg, wobbles her legs and everything. Everyone kind of jumped in and stopped it from there, but thank goodness it was only one shot and nothing else happened. But I know Magana wanted to press charges and everything like that, but I’m not really sure what happened after, but that’s kind of what I saw went down at the retreat.”

Knee injury update

“You know what, to be honest with you, as soon as I had the surgery I was back up on it the next day walking on it. And it was orthoscopic, so they went in – and I ended up tearing the meniscus and ended up tearing my MCL, so that’s what is actually the longest to heal – they went in, they scoped the knee, took out the meniscus that I had torn, but it’s the MCL that’s actually taken so long to feel better, which is normal. My brother Tony played college football and he ended up tearing both MCL’s in both knees and he said it took, man, I mean, for the pain to go away, probably five or six months. But even after that, you can still feel a little bit and I think it’s mostly scar tissue now. But for my game, I’m a kicker. Everyone knows that I like to move, I like to kick.”

“So it’s one of those things, I can kick with it, but if it gets hung up on an arm or a hip and I kind of pull down or my foot gets caught in it, I really feel it in my MCL, it hurts and I kind of gotta stop for a little bit and let the pain kind of subside before I can start doing whatever it is I’m doing again. So it’s just the pain. I think that it’s healed but there’s a lot of scar tissue up in there and I gotta kind of break it out a little bit. That’s about it. But it’s slowly going away. I did some sparring yesterday, very little kicking with it, mostly kicking with my left leg. But it’s this great opportunity for me to look at the good things about this is, you know, even though I did have a knee surgery, but it’s great for me to work on my left side a little bit more, work on my left leg a little bit more. And that’s the leg that I’ve mostly had all my surgeries on. I’ve had four knee surgeries on my left and now I’ve had two on my right, the most recent one on my right knee. But it’s getting there, man. I’m getting back slowly and hopefully I’ll be able to get back in there and help Chris get ready for his fight coming up.”

Timeframe for his return to fight again

“The goal, to be honest, the goal is to be able to fight in September. I’m not really sure what fights they have in September. Late August, early September’s the plan, but we’ll talk with my management company, the UFC and see if we can get something going.”

If Stephen Thompson want’s to fight someone in the top five rankings when he returns

“You know what, that’s my plan. I want to fight someone in the top five, but the question is who? I wanted Robbie Lawler to begin with, but I know he’s fighting Donald Cerrone coming up. Demian Maia, I hear he has the next title shot. Not really sure what Carlos Condit is doing. I don’t know if he’s back in his training, if he’s gonna retire. I know there was some talks about him doing that. I would love to fight Carlos Condit. The number five-ranked guy right now is Jorge Masvidal. I would love to fight him. Anybody in that top five I think would be perfect, man.”

On Jorge Masvidal as his return opponent

“Oh yes, definitely, definitely. He’s willing to fight. I know that he had mentioned something on twitter and I answered back, “yeah man, I would love to fight you once this knee heals up,” which is the truth. I wanna fight the best guys. He went three fight-minute rounds with one of the best in the division – and to be honest with you, I thought he won the fight – but it didn’t go his way, but I think we would put on a good show. He’s a tough opponent, good striking, good Muay Thai and I think it would just be fireworks.”

How Stephen thinks Demian Maia can dethrone Tyron Woodley or if Woodley’s takedown defence would be too much for Maia

“You know what, I really do. Tyron is a very strong opponent. I mean, he’s proven he can go five five-minute rounds. But man, if Demian Maia gets a hold of him, it’s gonna be a rough night for Tyron. But I do believe that Tyron can send him off of those takedowns. He’s such a powerful guy, great wrestling, good takedown defence. Demian is definitely gonna have a hard time getting Tyron down, and that’s where the whole debacle is gonna be. It could be a stand-up fight. I don’t know if Demian could get Tyron down or not. Maybe he can control him against the cage, but he’s so explosive and so powerful, I think Demian is gonna have a very hard time doing that. And plus, you’ve seen in the past with Demian in the later rounds he gets tired cause he tries so hard to get his opponents down. And you saw the Demian Maia fight, even when he fought Matt Brown, the last round he was just done, you know, it took one hundred percent of him to try and get him down. But that’s a very interesting fight, a very interesting fight and a great fight for both guys. But man, they both have the potential to win, but I don’t know. I don’t think Demian will take him down.”

Who Stephen thinks should be next in line for the title shot

“I think Demian Maia should get it. He’s beaten some really good guys, he’s been there, he’s taken fights, hasn’t turned any fights down. He should have had it right after my fight, but you know what, he decided to take the fight with Masvidal. I think give it to him, see what happens, then maybe give Georges the next shot. You know, Georges has been out for a while, why not wait a little longe?. But I think Georges is wanting to fight in like January, I think he was talking about. And I think when he was going to fight Bisping anyway he was talking about fighting in January. Bisping was like, “nah man, that’s too long to wait,” so that never happened. So we’ll see, man. I think Demian should get it.”

If Stephen would face GSP for the belt or if he’d wait till GSP lost it due to their friendship

“You know, I’m 34 years old and I don’t think I have the time to wait. You know, let’s say he does get that title. Question is, is he gonna hold onto it? Is he gonna move somewhere else? I don’t know. But my goal, and it’s something he knows, it’s always been to have that title, to win that title belt. So he is a very good friend of mine and if that ever does happen, that’s something that I would have to talk to him about, call him and say, “listen, this is, you know, this is my goal, this is what’s happening, do we want to do this or not? Blah blah blah”. And mainly I think it would just kind of be up to him. I mean, he knows what my goals are. I don’t think he would be like – you know what, to be honest, I don’t know. Before my last Tyron fight he told me, “I have no interest fighting you. I’ve known you for a long time, you’re a good friend of mine, I have no interest in fighting you,” and I was like, “alright, sweet,” but then he was going up to 185 to fight Bisping. Now that I didn’t win, I’m still there and still it could be possible for me to get that title shot and fight for it again. But if he’s the champion, you know, that’s my goal, man, so it may happen (Laughs).”

If it’s nice to be out of the spotlight and have the pressure of title contention off him for now

“You know what, to be honest with you, yeah. I mean, my last four fights have just been killers, and you know, constantly in training camp. Even though when they were spread apart, there was no time for me to rest or to kind of relax a little bit and take a second to kind of back off and focus on my buddies that have got fights coming up and kind of help them. I had Jake Ellenberger, next thing you know it was Johny Hendricks and then it was Rory MacDonald and the two fights with Tyron Woodley. I mean, you know, it does, right now it feels great to just kind of sit back and relax, give your body time to heal up. You know, I took some big shots from Tyron in the first and the second fight, and just to know that next time I step out there my body, my head, my brain will be one hundred percent when I get back out there. And to be honest, I’m really itching at the bits to get back out there again, but right now I’m just focused on making sure that this knee is one hundred percent before I step out there. I know a lot of guys come back from knee surgery, get out there too soon and end up injuring it again, and next thing you know they’re out for a year or two years.”

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