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UFC 244’s Stephen Thompson on ‘kickboxing vs. karate’ match-up: ‘He won’t beat me’

Stephen Thompson looks forward to striking match against Vicente Luque at UFC 244.

Former welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson is eager to take on up-and-coming potential title challenger Vicente Luque at UFC 244. In what has the potential to be an intriguing striking battle between athletes with different backgrounds, ‘Wonderboy’ tells Combate he looks forward to the opportunity to test himself against the young Brazilian.

However, Thompson also made sure to point out that he does not see Luque getting his hand raised at the end of the fight. In the Team Pitch Black fighter’s opinion, he will be the better man in the cage on Saturday night.

“I feel well and ready to fight here, in New York City, at UFC 244. We still have a couple of days until fight night. Now, I’m only focused on cutting weight, but I’m mentally ready. I have a tough opponent ahead of me, Vicente Luque, who is on a six-fight winning streak and is a great kickboxer. It will be kickboxing vs. karate. That makes the fight even more exciting. He is a striker and so am I, but he won’t be the best one. He won’t beat me.”

Although he lost his last two fights against younger opponents in Darren Till and Anthony Pettis, Thompson says he hasn’t been rattled by these past performances. Especially not his fight against Till, which Thompson believes he won. He’s just trying to keep a positive mindset for his challenge in New York.

“I tried to remain positive. I think I really only lost one of my last two fights. Against Till, I think I won. Against Pettis, I was doing better than him and then suddenly I lost. I had never been knocked out before. That’s after years of fighting, so it’s not that bad. Obviously, nobody wants that to happen again. There are some negatives places where you can go in times like these and I don’t want to go there. That’s why I went back to training right away and everything has been going well. My minds is fine, and I’m totally focused on winning.”

Outside of his two recent defeats, Thompson (14-4-1) defeated Jorge Masvidal back in November of 2017. That win came on after Thompson’s pair of title fights against then champion Tyron Woodley.

UFC 244 will take place on November 2nd at Madison Square Garden. The event is expected to be headlined by a welterweight bout between the aforementioned Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz for the self-styled ‘BMF’ title.