This past weekend at UFC Vegas 45, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson (16-6-1) took on Belal Muhammad (20-3, 1 NC) in the co-main event of the evening. This was a big matchup for the welterweight division.
Wonderboy was trying to bounce back after his loss to Gilbert Burns over the summer. Had Wonderboy won that fight, he would’ve likely been the next in line for a shot at the UFC welterweight title.
However, Burns got the best of him. Burns was able to use a grappling heavy attack to neutralize the great striker Wonderboy. Given his wrestling background, many thought that Belal Muhammad would institute that same gameplan.
Turns out, that’s exactly what happened. From the opening bell at UFC Vegas 45, Muhammad gave Wonderboy no space to operate. Wonderboy was stifled by the attack and really couldn’t get anything going.
When they were in space, Wonderboy was definitely landing the better shots. However, those moments of space were few and very far between. In the end, Muhammad won a very lopsided decision at UFC Vegas 45.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 45?
This was a really tough one for Wonderboy Thompson. Had he won this fight, he would’ve likely only been one more impressive win from a title shot. However, he fell short again and now he’s looking at a complete reset after back-to-back losses.
With that, who should the UFC pair him with next? Well, the most logical matchup for Wonderboy would be another fighter who is a terrible matchup for him stylistically.
If you’re looking at the division, a great next fight would be Michael Chiesa (17-6). Both men have suffered back-to-back losses and are at a similar spot in the division. Again, this is a tough spot for Wonderboy given the matchup.
Another potential fight could be a fight with Neil Magny (25-8). Magny is 4-1 in his last five and his last win is the same as Wonderboy’s and that’s a decision win over Geoff Neal. This would be another solid route for the UFC to go.