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Thompson on third Woodley fight: I know I can beat him, and the fans do too

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Stephen Thompson is confident that he has MMA fans agreeing that he can win a third fight against Tyron Woodley.

After a draw at UFC 205 last November, Tyron Woodley was finally able to edge Stephen Thompson at UFC 209 early this month. The current champion defended his belt by winning a majority decision verdict in a contest that was highly criticized.

From his end, Thompson is not closing his doors on the possibility of a third fight. And if it does materialize, he is confident he will end up victorious, and believes that fans share the same sentiment.

"I feel I can go out there and I know I can beat him,” Thompson told Submission Radio. “I mean just in the last two fights, I know if I put forth just a little bit more effort and actually go out there and just do what I know I can do, just fight, you know, I know I can beat him. I know I can do it. And the fans do too.”

“Of course, you’re out there being cautious, but sometimes you gotta grit your teeth, bite down on that mouthpiece and go. And I didn’t do that in the last fight. And that’s something that I know if I go out there and do, then I’ll ended up winning. But the fight happened twice and I’ll fight who I gotta fight next and we’ll do it again.”

UFC 209’s main event fight got major flak for having almost no action until the fifth round, where Woodley dropped Thompson with a right hand and almost ended up winning by stoppage. Thompson revealed that he actually injured his knee during that round, and has yet to fully recover from it.

“Well in the fifth round he actually blitzed me in the fifth round and I ended up falling down. And as I was getting back up against the cage, he ends up smoking me with a right hand, back of the head. I ended up dropping right then,” Thompson explained. “And the way I dropped, I fell back over my right knee kind of at an awkward angle. And I don’t know if you go back and watch it, but it ended up falling over the back of my right knee and we believe we have an MCL tear – not an ACL tear, but an MCL tear. And hopefully that’s all it is.”

“I’m pretty sure the ACL’s intact, just making sure there’s no meniscus tears or anything like that. But it’s sore, still a little swollen, but you know, I’m itching to just get back out there and train and this is what I do, man. I do this everyday and this is kind of hard for me just to kind of sit back and watch everybody else train. We’ve got guys from my gym that have fights coming up, so I’d like to be there for them as well.”