Stephen Thompson
Wonderboy
Suffers first KO loss in huge upset
WelterweightUFC
March 23, 2019
Thompson lost to Anthony Pettis via KO (punch) at 4:55 of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night 148 in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Things seemed to be going to plan for the karate stylist in this one, as he was able to stick his opponent with stiff counter shots while taking no significant damage in return. Things changed quickly, however, as Thompson was on the receiving end of a vicious leaping hook in the waning seconds of Round 2 that separated him from his senses. "Wonderboy" seemed to be back on track after getting a win over a tough fighter in Jorge Masvidal in his last bout but he seems to lack the finishing ability that once was so prevalent, meaning his opponents will generally be there to try to land a fight-altering shot. He falls to 14-4-1 in professional MMA as a result of the loss, having gone 1-3-1 in his last five contests.
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Tabbed to face Pettis in Nashville
WelterweightUFC
January 20, 2019
Thompson (knee) will take on Anthony Pettis (nose) at UFC Nashville on Mar. 23.
ANALYSIS
Thompson hasn't fought since May of 2018 due to a torn MCL, but it seems like he's confident enough in his health to step back into the octagon in a couple months. His first test back will be an interesting one, as he'll face off with one of the best lightweight fighters in Pettis. "Wonderboy" is a couple inches taller than his opponent, but it remains to be seen how he'll stack up against a dangerous fighter with little experience in the welterweight class.
Recovering from torn MCL
WelterweightUFC
June 18, 2018
Thompson revealed that he suffered a torn MCL in his knee during his fight with Darren Till at UFC Liverpool on May 27, Jed Meshew of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Thompson said that Till's targeted side kicks to the knee were instrumental to the latter winning the fight, with "Wonderboy" noting that the blows slowed him down during the second round. Fortunately for Thompson, who previously tore the ACL in the same knee, he suffered no other damage after undergoing a post-fight MRI and won't need surgery to address the MCL tear. He'll take the next two months to recover before resuming training and preparing for his next fight.
Loses close decision to Darren Till in England
WelterweightUFC
May 27, 2018
Thompson was defeated by Darren Till via unanimous decision (46-49, 47-48, 47-48) at UFC Fight Night on Sunday in Liverpool.
ANALYSIS
This was a very close fight. Neither fighter went out and "took" the decision. Thompson used his typical elusive style to stay on the outside and avoid big shots from his opponent. Thompson did an excellent job of using his counter-striking to land more strikes than Till. This fight likely swung on "Octagon control" as Thompson was moving backwards the entire fight and Till was pursuing. Thompson could have been more assertive and taken more risks, but that is a tall task against a fighter who possesses the power of Till. "Wonderboy" was knocked down in the fifth round, and that was the decisive point of the fight as two judges gave Till the victory by one round. It seemed like Thompson was on his way to a decision victory, but the judges took into account Till's pressure, damage he did to Thompson's leg, and knockdown in the fifth round.
Main event against Darren Till official
WelterweightUFC
May 27, 2018
Thompson will officially square off against Darren Till in the main event of UFC Liverpool on Sunday, as Till was able to weigh in below their agreed-upon mark of 188 pounds, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Thompson is already picking up 30 percent of Till's purse due to the fact that Till missed weight Saturday, but another aspect of the deal negotiated by the fighters was that Till could not weigh more than 188 pounds upon entering the arena. That may seem like a silly idea given that the fighters' contracted weight is 171 pounds, but for a large welterweight like Till that can walk around north of 200, it's essentially forcing a second weight cut on fight day. Till will now have to scramble to rehydrate, and medically speaking, won't be able to fully do so before entering the octagon later today. This uncertainty seems to have swung the betting odds back in favor of Thompson, who sits at approximately a (-135) favorite for the main event as of 9:00 AM ET.
Opponent misses weight for Liverpool main event
WelterweightUFC
May 26, 2018
Thompson will still fight in his scheduled matchup against Darren Till at UFC Liverpool on Sunday, despite the fact that Till missed weight by 3.5 pounds, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Thompson negotiated a deal that forces Till to surrender 30 percent of his fight purse, and makes him unable to weigh more than 188 pounds when arriving at the arena tomorrow. If he misses that mark, the terms would need to be negotiated once again. It's a bit of a unique move, but very strategic on the part of Thompson's team, as it will prevent Till from entering the octagon too advantageously heavy. Furthermore, it may require Till to cut a bit of weight tomorrow morning, which wouldn't be ideal for a fighter about to compete at the highest level. As of Saturday morning (in the U.S.), Thompson has moved from a slight underdog to a betting favorite of roughly (-125), though the matchup remains a pick'em in many sportsbooks.