MMA Fighter's Bold Ultimatum: Stephen Thompson Sends Message to Future Opponents

The fight starts before the bell rings. In the world of MMA, a fighter’s discipline and commitment are tested well before they step into the Octagon, with weight-cutting being one of the key challenges they face. Weight management is a critical aspect of the sport, but it’s also a contentious issue that has sparked debates and fueled controversies. Now, taking a firm stand on this matter, MMA fighter Stephen Thompson is sending a clear message to his future opponents: “You better be on weight or it’s not going to happen.” In this article, we will delve into Thompson’s stance on weight cutting, his past experiences with opponents missing weight, and his expectations for future bouts.

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Stephen Thompson has always prided himself on being a man of integrity and honor, traits that he believes should extend to the practice of weight cutting in Mixed Martial Arts. He has boldly taken a stand, vowing only to fight opponents who meet the agreed-upon weight limit.

Weight cutting is a common practice in MMA, where fighters aim to weigh in at a specific category before gradually rehydrating to gain a size advantage over their opponents. However, it’s a hot topic that has attracted criticism for its potential health risks and the unfair advantages it can provide.

Thompson’s stance is clear. He views weight cutting as an integral part of the preparation for a fight, a demonstration of discipline, and respect for the opponent. For him, failing to make weight is more than a mere oversight; it’s a direct affront to the honor of the sport.

The decision to only accept fights with opponents who make weight is a firm commitment from Thompson. He is well aware that this could limit his options, but he remains steadfast. His message is simple: if you can’t make weight, you can’t fight him. This stance is not only a reflection of his personal ethics but also a call to action for his fellow fighters to uphold the standards and integrity of the sport.

In the world of MMA, where weight matters, Thompson’s stand is a bold one. It echoes his belief that fighters should take their responsibilities seriously, honoring the weight classes that define the sport. With this bold ultimatum to his future opponents, Thompson is not just setting a personal standard, but challenging the status quo in MMA.

However, it’s not just about principles for Thompson. His stance on weight cutting is also informed by his past experiences, which we’ll explore in the next section.


Thompson’s Past Experiences with Opponents Missing Weight

In the world of MMA, weight cutting is a common practice that can often lead to significant disparities on fight night. Stephen Thompson knows this all too well, having faced off against opponents who failed to meet their contracted weight.

In 2018, Thompson found himself in the ring with Darren Till, who tipped the scales three and a half pounds over the welterweight limit. Despite his initial reluctance, Thompson proceeded with the fight, believing it was the right thing to do. However, the match didn’t go as planned. Thompson felt the weight disadvantage as he grappled with Till’s size and power, leading to a loss via a controversial decision.

Fast forward to UFC 291, and history seemed to repeat itself when Michel Pereira missed weight for their scheduled fight. Pereira weighed in at 174 pounds, a full three pounds over the limit for a non-title welterweight fight. This time, Thompson drew a line in the sand. He recalled the Darren Till fight and made a firm decision not to engage in the ring with an opponent who hadn’t made weight.

These experiences have taught Thompson a harsh lesson about the potential consequences of weight disparities in MMA. He’s felt the physical toll it can take, describing how a heavier opponent can feel like a “big body” in the ring. But beyond the physical, it’s also an issue of integrity and professionalism. As Thompson points out, when a fighter signs a contract, they’re giving their word to meet the terms — including making weight.

Thompson’s experiences with weight cutting in MMA have been anything but positive. But these encounters have fueled his determination to change the way things are done. It’s this resolve that underpins his message to future opponents: make weight or the fight won’t happen.

The Impact of Weight Cutting on Fighters

Every pound counts in the ring, and weight cutting has become a critical aspect of MMA fighting. Fighters often go to extreme measures to meet their weight class, dehydrating and depleting their bodies in the process. But what toll does this take on them?

The Physical Strain of Weight Cutting

When fighters cut weight, they aim to reduce their body mass to fit into a specific weight class. This is often done through severe dieting and dehydration close to the fight date. But this can have severe consequences. Fighters can experience symptoms such as cramps, headaches, and fatigue, making it harder for them to perform at their peak. As Stephen Thompson puts it, “You step on that scale and you’re still 174 and you still have to get down there. It does make a difference.”

The Psychological Impact

The physical stress of weight cutting is just one side of the coin. The pressure to make weight, coupled with the physical discomfort, can also take a significant toll on a fighter’s mental health. This could potentially affect their performance in the ring, leaving them vulnerable during the fight.

The Unfair Advantage

Another critical aspect of weight cutting is the potential for an unfair advantage. Fighters who fail to make weight often come into the ring heavier than their opponents. This can give them a significant advantage in terms of strength and endurance, as Thompson experienced firsthand when he fought against Darren Till.

The Risk of Serious Health Complications

Lastly, the extreme measures that fighters take to cut weight can result in serious health complications. Dehydration, in particular, can lead to kidney damage, heart problems, and other life-threatening medical conditions. This is a risk that every fighter takes when they choose to cut weight, and it’s a risk that Thompson is no longer willing to take.

In summary, weight cutting in MMA is a high-stakes game, affecting fighters physically, mentally, and even potentially skewing the fairness of fights. It’s a brutal process that fighters like Thompson are trying to reform, starting with their own fight contracts.

Thompson’s Message to Future Opponents

After the UFC 291 debacle, Stephen Thompson has a clear and resounding message for future potential competitors: make weight or the fight is off. Thompson is not the first fighter to voice his concerns over weight cutting in MMA, but he is one of the few to take such a firm stance. This ultimatum has been met with mixed reactions within the MMA community, but Thompson remains resolute.

Thompson’s frustration stems from his belief that weight cutting, particularly when a fighter misses weight, disrupts the integrity of the sport. He stated in no uncertain terms, “I want everybody to know right now in the 170 division, that if you’re going to fight me now you better be on weight or it’s not going to happen. I’m at a place in my career what I want to fight fairly. I don’t want to play any games.”

Furthermore, Thompson is advocating for greater consequences for fighters who fail to make weight. He argues that these fighters are demonstrating a lack of integrity and honor, and their actions should not be taken lightly. In fact, Thompson is pushing for more severe penalties to be implemented, ensuring all fighters adhere to the agreed-upon weight limits.

There’s a clear desire from the ‘Wonderboy’ for the enforcement of fair practices in MMA. He’s no longer willing to let weight discrepancies slide, and he’s not afraid to forfeit a fight if his opponent doesn’t make weight. It’s a bold ultimatum, one that sends a clear message to the entire UFC 170 division and beyond.

But Thompson’s message doesn’t end there. He’s also looking ahead, setting his sights on a return to the Octagon at Madison Square Garden. However, he’s firm on one point – he doesn’t want to fight Michel Pereira, the opponent who missed weight at UFC 291. Thompson believes there are other more deserving fighters out there, and he’s looking forward to meeting them in the cage.

In conclusion, Stephen Thompson’s bold ultimatum to future opponents is a clear reflection of his commitment to fairness in MMA. His message serves as a warning to all fighters in the 170 division: if you want to fight ‘Wonderboy’, you better make weight.

Thompson’s Future Plans and Expectations

After a disappointing cancellation of his fight with Michel Pereira due to Pereira’s failure to make weight, Stephen Thompson is now looking ahead to his next challenge. The veteran fighter, affectionately known as ‘Wonderboy’, has made it clear that he won’t settle for anything less than a top-ranked opponent.

Thompson has his sights set on UFC 295, scheduled for November. While he’s open to facing any fighter, there’s one name he’s decidedly uninterested in—Michel Pereira. “I don’t care [who I fight], just not Michel Pereira. He doesn’t deserve it. I gave you the shot. I’m not going to give you that chance again. There’s other guys who are out there who are more deserving,” Thompson stated.

The 40-year-old is also keen on fighting at a venue that holds special significance for him. “Madison Square Garden is my plan,” Thompson shared, hinting at a desire to return to familiar stomping grounds for his next fight.

However, Thompson’s future plans come with a stern caveat. He has made it abundantly clear that he will only face opponents who make weight. Failure to meet this requirement will result in an automatic cancellation of the fight. This bold ultimatum stems from Thompson’s commitment to fairness in the sport and his past experiences with opponents who failed to make weight.

In the meantime, while awaiting his next bout, Thompson is sure to continue his intense training regimen and strategizing for future opponents. The veteran fighter remains a formidable presence in the UFC, and his commitment to fairness in the sport is a testament to his integrity as an athlete.

In the world of MMA where unexpected twists and turns are the norm, one thing is certain: any fighter hoping to face ‘Wonderboy’ in the octagon will have to meet his non-negotiable demand—they better be on weight. As the MMA world anticipates Thompson’s next move, his clear message to future opponents serves as a reminder of the discipline and commitment required in this high-stakes sport.

For those keen on following Thompson’s journey and other UFC happenings, Bet MMA offers all the latest information and updates on upcoming fights, fighter profiles, and predictions.


It’s clear that Stephen Thompson is setting a new standard in the UFC. His bold ultimatum sends a powerful message to future opponents: “You better be on weight or it’s not going to happen.” Thompson’s stance against weight cutting is not only a personal decision but also a call to action for the UFC community and a challenge to the status quo.

But Thompson’s words are not just empty rhetoric. His experiences in the octagon, particularly his fight with Darren Till, give weight to his argument. The ordeal of weight cutting, as he describes it, is a brutal and demanding process that can potentially compromise a fighter’s performance and health. And yet, it remains a common practice in the sport.

Thompson’s future plans reveal a fighter who is not afraid to take a stand. By refusing to fight opponents who miss weight, he reinforces the importance of discipline, integrity, and sportsmanship in MMA. His anticipated return at UFC 295 in November is eagerly awaited by fans and bettors alike.

In the world of MMA, where nothing is certain until the final bell rings, one thing is sure — Stephen Thompson is a fighter who values fairness as much as he values victory. His bold stance is a reminder that the fight for change often starts from within.

As we anticipate the unfolding of Thompson’s journey and the impact of his stance on the UFC landscape, let’s remember that the sport is not just about the fights. It’s also about the fighters, their struggles, their triumphs, and the values they stand for.