The UFC is finalizing a fun matchup in the welterweight division for a PPV in June. MMA Sucka was the first to report that former welterweight title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (17-6-1) will be taking on the entertaining Michel Pereira (28-11).
The matchup is expected to take place at UFC 289 on June 10th. For Pereira, this is a massive opportunity. The Brazilian has won five fights in a row that leads him to this shot against a former title challenger. He first debuted with the promotion back in 2019 and scored a first round knockout win.
However, he showed some questionable Fight IQ in his next fight leading to a decision loss where he gassed out. Following that, he suffered a DQ loss against Diego Sanchez despite dominating the fight. Since the Sanchez fight, he’s gone 5-0 and has been stepping up the competition along the way.
Entering 2021, Wonderboy looked like he was on the cusp of another crack at the UFC welterweight title. He had back-to-back wins over Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal. The promotion decided to give him a fight against another former title challenger in Gilbert Burns.
Ultimately, Burns’ grappling told the story and Thompson lost a decision. He then was booked against Belal Muhammad and you can imagine what happened. A grappling and takedown-fest from Muhammad led to another decision loss.
Following these losses, Wonderboy said he wanted to fight someone who wasn’t a wrestler. The UFC obliged and gave him Kevin Holland in December. They put on a helluva fight and Thompson got the TKO win after the fourth round.
This is a big fight for both men. For Pereira, he needs to show that he can defeat top tier competition. Wonderboy needs another win to show he’s got one more run towards the title in him. Should be a fun one in June.