Stephen Thompson

Wonderboy

USA

Taps to Shavkat Rakhmonov
WelterweightUFC
December 16, 2023
Thompson lost to Shavkat Rakhmonov via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:56 of Round 2 at UFC 296 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Thompson is arguably the most gifted pure striker in the history of the sport, but there's a reason he entered as a +450 underdog, by far the largest on the entire card. He'll be 41 years of age next February and has never been a great grappler. He was also facing a stone-cold killer. Thompson managed to remain upright in Round 1, but his luck ran out in Round 2. At that point, it was just a matter of time before Rakhmonov earned the stoppage. Wonderboy nearly made it to the end of the frame but was forced to tap with just seconds left. It's the first submission loss of Thompson's career. Wonderboy is in a near-impossible spot moving forward. It's clear he's not on the same level as the top welterweights on the roster. That said, he has plenty of gas left in the tank. It's a story to monitor as the calendar turns to 2024.
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Will fight Rakhmonov
WelterweightUFC
September 22, 2023
Thompson will fight Shavkat Rakhmonov at UFC 296 on Dec. 16, UFC President Dana White announced.
ANALYSIS
Thompson needed a big fight, and a win here would show the world that he's still firmly in the contender mix. His opponent is as exciting as it gets though, as Rakhmonov is sporting a 17-0 record during his professional career.
Fight scratched
WelterweightUFC
July 28, 2023
Thompson will no longer fight Michel Pereira at UFC 291, Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie reports.
ANALYSIS
Thompson will no longer face off with Michel Pereira after his opponent weighed in too heavy. It remains to be seen if the bout, which had already been rescheduled, will be re-booked in the future.
To face Pereira at UFC 291
WelterweightUFC
May 17, 2023
Thompson's scheduled welterweight matchup against Michel Pereira has been rebooked for UFC 291 on July 29 in Salt Lake City, Marcel Dorff of Eurosport.nl reports.
ANALYSIS
The two were originally set to face off at UFC 289 on June 10, but the bout was postponed due to reasons that were never officially disclosed. Seven weeks later, the contracts have apparently been finalized, and if oddsmakers treat this one anything like the last, Thompson could see himself as high as a (-245) betting favorite. He'll be facing an opponent in Pereira who is 11 years younger, tremendously athletic and also tends to employ unorthodox striking styles (sometimes to his detriment). Thompson is a veteran of the sport with tremendous Fight IQ and stand-up defense, however, so it makes sense to see him favored. Pereira will have to catch him with something out-of-the-box, or perhaps employ more of his wrestling game, in order to get this fight closer to even.
Won't fight at UFC 289
WelterweightUFC
May 2, 2023
Thompson's fight versus Michel Pereira at UFC 289 on June 10 will be postponed until July, Cole Shelton of bjpenn.com reports.
ANALYSIS
No reasons were given as to why the fight has been postponed, but contracts were never officially sent out. However, it does appear that Thompson will still fight Pereira in July.
Will return at UFC 289
WelterweightUFC
April 4, 2023
Thompson (hand) will take on Michel Pereira at UFC 289 on June 10, Marcel Dorff of Eurosport.nl reports.
ANALYSIS
Thompson has been recovering from a broken hand suffered in December against Kevin Holland. Thompson was able to get the stoppage win against Holland, which was his first such win since February of 2016. Now 40 years of age, Thompson probably doesn't have a whole lot more fights left in him.