Stephen Thompson
Wonderboy

USA

Targeting December return
WelterweightUFC
November 4, 2020
Thompson (hand) is being targeted to face Geoff Neal (infection) in a welterweight matchup at a UFC event scheduled for Dec. 19, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Thompson broke both of his hands at UFC 244 in November of 2019 and has been sidelined since. However, he didn't require surgery and will be able to return in one of the final UFC events in 2020. Thompson defeated Vincent Luque via unanimous decision at UFC 244 after losing two consecutive bouts prior to the matchup. Neal dealt with a life-threatening infection in August that forced him to withdraw from a fight against Neil Magny, but he'll return against Thompson. Neal most recently defeated Mike Perry via TKO (strikes) at UFC 245 in December of 2019, bringing his UFC record to 5-0. Thompson has a slight edge in height, but the fighters are even in reach.
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Avoids surgery
WelterweightUFC
November 14, 2019
Thompson won't require surgery after breaking both of his hands at UFC 244, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The 37-year-old delivered a dominant performance in his win over Vicente Luque via unanimous decision at UFC 244, but he broke both of his hands during the fight. Thompson revealed Thursday that the injury will not require surgery, but that he will have a six-to-eight week recovery timeline. "Wonderboy" is no stranger to hand injuries, as he broke both of his thumbs in 2017 following his fight against Jorge Masvidal. While the injury will require several weeks of rest, Thompson should be ready to return to the Octagon sometime in early 2020.
Turns back clock at UFC 244
WelterweightUFC
November 2, 2019
Thompson defeated Vicente Luque via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27) at UFC 244 on Saturday in New York City.
ANALYSIS
It was a vintage, dominant effort from Wonderboy. It took a couple minutes for Thompson to find his range, but once he did, Luque was toast. Wonderboy peppered his overmatched opponent with all sorts of different strikes. Thompson threw a ton of kicks, as usual, and was credited with landing a whopping 58 percent (83-of-141) of his total strikes. It was a thorough beating and an exceptionally encouraging performance for Wonderboy on the heels of his shocking knockout loss at the hands of Anthony Pettis in March. The next-level toughness of Luque is the only reason this fight saw the final bell. Thompson turns 38 years old in February, but he has plenty left in the tank. He's going to get another big-time fight his next time out. In the meantime, he'll go home $50,000 richer after this bout was awarded Fight of the Night honors.
Added to UFC 244
WelterweightUFC
September 10, 2019
Thompson will square off with Vincente Luque at UFC 244 on Nov. 2 at Madison Square Garden, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Thompson has lost two consecutive bouts and three of his last four, likely signaling that the 36-year-old is heading toward the back end of his career in the UFC. He decided to sit out a hometown card earlier in the season and will instead fight under the big lights of Madison Square Garden near his residence in New Jersey. He gets a 27-year-old in Vincent Luque, who is riding a six-fight winning streak.
Details return timetable
WelterweightUFC
May 14, 2019
Thompson will not fight in his upcoming, hometown card at UFC Greenville in June, and is instead targeting a late-2019 return, Peter Carroll of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Thompson doesn't necessarily have any specific injuries worth detailing, but at 36 years old, he wants to be sure he is at 100 percent prior to stepping back into the Octagon. He's now lost back-to-back fights for the first time in his professional career, most recently suffering a knockout loss to Anthony Pettis after entering as a big betting favorite. He had initially been hoping to return for the June 22 card in Greenville, South Carolina since it is so close to his home town of Simpsonville, but ultimately prefers not to rush things. Instead, "Wonderboy" suggested a return in the fall, or even in November's card at Madison Square Garden, where he sports a record of 1-0-1.
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.