The UFC’s return to Madison Square Garden on November 4 just keeps building – momentum, card, everything.
The latest addition to UFC 217 is a fascinating welterweight clash between former UFC title challenger Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and rugged dangerman Jorge Masvidal. A battle of tremendous strikers, Thompson vs. Masvidal works as an ideal appetiser to the night’s title fights – a UFC bantamweight title scrap between Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw and a UFC middleweight title scrap between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre.
Thompson, 13-2-1, is coming off a couple of unsuccessful tilts at Tyron Woodley’s UFC welterweight title and is looking to get back in the win column and secure another shot at the belt. So close, yet so far, Thompson drew with Woodley in their first fight, then lost a narrow decision in their return. Before that, he had won seven fights on the bounce and claimed the scalps of Rory MacDonald, Johny Hendricks and current UFC interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.
Masvidal, 32-12, was last seen losing a razor-thin decision to Demian Maia at UFC 211, a result which snapped his three-fight winning run. He, like Thompson, is a man who chooses to stand and bang, be it with punches or kicks, and, in Thompson, he would appear to have a willing dance partner at MSG.