Gilbert Burns just spoiled Stephen Thompson’s plan of a potential title shot. Thompson is the only top 5 left that was yet to face the current champion, Kamaru Usman but due to this setback, we might not see that fight next.
Thompson may have had a unique matchup but he might be too one dimensional against the current top 5 fighters. He couldn’t change levels if he wanted to and the opponent only needs to worry about his striking. Unlike Burns where he can mix in striking and also set up a takedown and control his opponent.
In the fight, it seemed Thompson always had the striking advantage but the gap was a bit closer than many anticipated. Burns knew when to time his takedowns and choose to grapple. Once Burns got a hold of Thompson, he basically neutralized Thompson’s weapons and eventually win the round. It was a matter of fighting smart and using his best area of offense.
Obviously, it is great for Burns’s career as a few more wins could grant him another title shot. His fight prior to this, was a title loss against Kamaru Usman. He then called out Jorge Masvidal for his next potential opponent, as both fighters last loss was for the title as well. With Thompson losing, it seems Covington now has a better argument for a title shot.
As for Stephen Thompson, he needs to think about his next career move whether he wants to continue fighting or hang up his gloves. He still has what it takes to compete with the top 10 contenders but in terms of title shot it may be a bit difficult but still doable. Thompson’s striking are still as lethal as they come.