The UFC will need to do some convincing to book a fight between Stephen Thompson and Khamzat Chimaev.
The promotion wants to book Thompson-Chimaev for the Dec. 19 main event, likely in Las Vegas, Combate's Raphael Marinho reported Saturday evening.
But after the information circulated, "Wonderboy" told ESPN's Ariel Helwani he was not interested and would rather face a top contender like Jorge Masvidal or Leon Edwards.
"Wonderboy," who has challenged for the UFC welterweight title twice, is the fifth-ranked fighter in the division. He hasn't stepped into the Octagon since beating Vicente Luque at UFC 244 last November.
Chimaev is the UFC's hottest prospect, but he remains unranked. "Borz" knocked out Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds at last weekend's UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas and moved to 3-0 in the promotion since his July debut.
Marinho has reported Thompson-Chimaev remains unfinalized, adding Edwards is possibly a second option to face Chimaev if "Wonderboy" doesn't agree to the fight.
Edwards is another top contender at 170 pounds but hasn't competed since a win over Rafael dos Anjos in July 2019. He had a scheduled bout against Tyron Woodley in March, which the promotion canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Thompson had recently expressed interest in fighting Edwards before doing so again Saturday. The 37-year-old holds a win from November 2017 over Masvidal, who's expecting to face Nate Diaz in early 2021.