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Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson returns at UFC 244 at MSG

UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson talks on Wednesday, Nov.

UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson talks on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017 about his fight against Jorge Masvidal on Saturday at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Credit: Newsday/Mark La Monica

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson has been suggesting UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 2 as the ideal time to return to the cage after losing by knockout for the first time in his career. 

He had been asking for a top-five fighter in the welterweight division, specifically Rafael Dos Anjos

He was met halfway.

Thompson, the ninth-ranked welterweight in the UFC, will face No. 14 Vicente Luque at MSG. UFC 244 will be headlined by a welterweigh bout between Jorge Masvidal Nate Diaz.

Thompson (14-4-1) is on a two-fight losing streak, the longest such skid he's had in combat sports. He was an undefeated kickboxing world champion with more than 50 fights before moving to MMA in 2010. He was knocked out by Anthony Pettis last March after losing a unanimous decision to Darren Till in May 2018.

This will be the third time Thompson has fought at MSG, which is in its fourth year of hosting cards since MMA was legalized in New York in March 2016. Thompson fought then-welterweight champion Tyron Woodley to a majority draw at UFC 205 in 2016, then beat Masvidal by unanimous decision at UFC 217 in 2017.

Luque (17-6-1) has won six straights fights, most recently beating Mike Perry by split decision in August. This will be the fourth fight in 2019 for the hard-hitting Brazilian.

Also added to UFC 244 is a featherweight bout between Julio Arce and Hakeem Dawodu.

Arce (16-3), from Queens, built up his name in Ring of Combat before earning his way into the UFC via Dana White's Contender Series. He's 3-1 in the UFC, most recently winning head-kick knockout over Julian Erosa last May.

Dawodu (10-1), from Canada, lost his UFC debut but has won his next three, including a third-round head-kick TKO of Yoshinori Horie at UFC 240 in July.

New York Sports