Stephen Thompson thinks fans will hear “And Still” at UFC 296.
No stranger to UFC title fights himself, Thompson is picking Leon Edwards to retain his welterweight title when he meets Colby Covington in the Dec. 16 main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. This is the second title defense of Edwards’ reign, following a decision win over Kamaru Usman in a trilogy bout this past March.
Thompson gave his breakdown of the fight on a recent episode of The MMA Hour.
“I like Leon,” Thompson said. “Colby Covington, we saw what happened with Colby Covington and Usman. Of course, Colby Covington is not coming off of a severe knockout from this guy, but if you look back at the fight, I feel like Leon Edwards is the bigger welterweight.
“I feel like the fight is going to stay standing. Even Usman couldn’t hold him down, he got right back up. And the first fight, Leon took him down, something that Colby couldn’t do. Something Colby had much difficulty doing [against Usman].”
In his two UFC title fights, Thompson battled then-champion Tyron Woodley to a majority draw at UFC 205 and then lost a majority decision to Woodley at UFC 209. “Wonderboy” is also scheduled to compete at UFC 296, where he takes on undefeated welterweight contender Shavkat Rakhmonov.
His fight with Rakhmonov is expected to feature plenty of Thompson’s striking vs. Rakhmonov’s wrestling, a contrast that he also expects to factor into the main event.
“Leon is definitely the better striker,” Thompson continued. “The only thing that I think Colby has is the cardio. If he stays in his face and stays relentless, but that’s very dangerous with somebody like Leon because he can throw. [Edwards] is very dangerous from the very beginning all the way to the very end of that fight as we saw the very first [title fight with Usman]. He’s just as dangerous as he is in the first as he is in the first round and that’s scary.
“I think he’s going to keep the fight standing, I think he’s going to win the fight standing up. He’s definitely the better striker.”
This story originally appeared on MMA fighting