After his fight fell through at UFC 291, what’s next for Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson?

Stephen Thompson UFC
Oct 31, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Mixed martial artist Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson attends the New York Knicks game against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday at UFC 291, we were supposed to see a fun matchup in the welterweight division that could’ve challenged for Fight of the Night. Former title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (17-6-1) was set to take on the entertaining Michel Pereira (28-11).

Everything during fight week was going well for Wonderboy and then Friday came along. He stepped on the scales and made weight for his main card fight. Then it was Pereira’s turn. Unfortunately, Pereira didn’t make weight. Pereira came in three pounds over the limit at 174 pounds.

From there, negotiations started taking place to keep the UFC 291 fight together. However, after deliberation, Wonderboy and his team came to the decision that it wasn’t the best move to fight given how badly Pereira missed weight. At his age and where he’s at in his career, the former title challenger didn’t feel it was fair to him or his team to take the fight.

What’s next after UFC 291 Cancellation

Wonderboy appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour and revealed that the UFC had not paid him for his appearance last week. Typically, the promotion will stay pay fighters their show money when they successfully make weight and a fight falls through. However, in this situation, the promotion has not as of now.

Thompson did say he thinks the promotion would take care of him eventually. He also said that he’s eyeing UFC 295 as a spot to return. The MSG card in November does seem like a good spot for Wonderboy. He said he’d be willing to fight just about anyone not named Michel Pereira.

So, who could he be paired up against? I could see the winner of Geoff Neal – Ian Garry being a real possibility especially if it’s Garry. Another option could be Shavkat Rakhmonov. Shavkat was supposed to fight Kelvin Gastelum but Gastelum is now hurt and can no longer fight. Perhaps the UFC tries to get Wonderboy in there against the top contender.