Stephen Thompson (fighter)
|Born||Stephen Randall Thompson|
February 11, 1983
Simpsonville, South Carolina, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)|
|Reach||75 in (191 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Simpsonville, South Carolina, U.S.|
|Team||Upstate Karate |
Pitch Black MMA
Serra-Longo Fight Team
|Rank||5th degree black belt in Tetsushin-ryū Kempo |
1st degree black belt in Jujutsu
Black belt in American Kickboxing
Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Carlos Machado
|Years active||2010–present (MMA)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Stephen Randall Thompson (born February 11, 1983) is an American professional mixed martial artist and model. Thompson currently competes in the Welterweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He is a former full-contact kickboxer and was undefeated through 37 amateur and 20 professional kickboxing matches. Thompson is regarded as one of the most accomplished strikers in the UFC, as well as one of most respectful fighters in the sport. As of April 12, 2022, he is #7 in the UFC welterweight rankings.
Thompson was born on February 11, 1983, in Simpsonville, South Carolina. He has two sisters and two brothers. Thompson started training at the age of three, under the guidance of his father, Ray Thompson, a former professional kickboxer and owner of Upstate Karate, a karate school in Simpsonville, South Carolina.
Thompson started competing in kickboxing and karate at the age of 15. He holds black belt ranks in Tetsushin-ryū Kempo, American Kickboxing and Jujutsu. He studies Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Carlos Machado who is also his brother-in-law. Thompson graduated from high school in 2001 and is the Head Instructor of the children's karate program at Upstate Karate.
Martial arts career
Thompson's father, Ray, is his trainer and manager.
Thompson has also been featured in Martial Arts Digest magazine, Fighter magazine, and MMA Authority magazine.
Thompson has performed along with his father at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts in the “Athletes Project”, and has appeared in several TV commercials.
Thompson fought Raymond Daniels in a highly anticipated bout. Thompson lost the bout by technical knockout due to a knee injury he suffered that left him unable to continue. However, this was later overturned into a no contest.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Thompson was expected to face Justin Edwards on February 4, 2012, at UFC 143, replacing an injured Mike Stumpf. However, Edwards was forced out with an injury and replaced by Dan Stittgen. Thompson won the fight via KO in the first round after landing a flush head kick. For his performance, Thompson was awarded Knockout of the Night honors.
Thompson was expected to face Amir Sadollah on May 25, 2013, at UFC 160. However, Sadollah pulled out of the bout, citing an injury, and he was replaced by Nah-Shon Burrell. Thompson won the fight via unanimous decision (29–28, 30–27, and 29–28).
Thompson faced future UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker on February 22, 2014, at UFC 170. Thompson won the bout via first-round technical knockout. The win also earned him his first Performance of the Night bonus award.
Thompson was expected to headline against Brandon Thatch on February 14, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 60. However, Thompson pulled out of the fight on January 30, citing a rib injury, and was replaced by former UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson.
Thompson was expected to face Neil Magny on January 2, 2016, at UFC 195. However, Magny was tabbed as an injury replacement for Matt Brown and instead faced Kelvin Gastelum on November 21, 2015, at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. In turn, Thompson was removed from the card and rebooked to face former champion Johny Hendricks on February 6, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 82. He won the bout via TKO in the first round. The win also earned Thompson his third Performance of the Night bonus award.
Thompson fought for the UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 205, where he faced reigning champion Tyron Woodley. The fight ended in a majority draw with two judges scoring the fight 47–47 and the third 48–47 in favor of Woodley. However, there was some confusion as the result was initially announced as a split decision victory for Woodley only to be corrected moments later when the decision of a majority draw was announced, albeit with the same result of Woodley remaining champion. Subsequently, both fighters were awarded Fight of the Night bonus awards. UFC President Dana White stated that he expected that a rematch would be next for each fighter.
The rematch with Woodley took place on March 4, 2017, in the main event at UFC 209. Thompson lost the bout by majority decision (48–47, 47–47, and 48–47). In a sample of 19 media pundits scoring the fight, five scored it in favor of Woodley, six scored in favor of Thompson, and eight scored it a draw.
As the first bout of his new multi-fight contract, Thompson faced Darren Till on May 27, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 130. At the weigh-ins, Till weighed in at 174.5 pounds, 3.5 pounds over the welterweight non-title fight limit of 171. After negotiating with Thompson's team, the bout proceeded at a catchweight, with the stipulation that Till could not weigh more than 188 pounds on the day of the fight. Till also forfeited 30 percent of his purse to Thompson. Thompson lost the bout via unanimous decision (48–47, 49–46, and 49–46). Conversely, 22 of 25 media outlets scored the bout in favor of Thompson.
Thompson faced former UFC Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis in the headliner of UFC on ESPN+ 6 on March 23, 2019. Despite outstriking Pettis for most of the bout, he lost the fight via knockout in the second round, marking the first time that Thompson had been stopped in MMA or kickboxing competition.
As the first bout of his new six-fight contract, Thompson faced Belal Muhammad on December 18, 2021 at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Daukaus. He lost via unanimous decision after being forced into bottom position on the ground for a large portion of each round.
Thompson is well known for his American Kenpo style of karate which he has trained in from an early age. This karate background is evident in the stance he adopts, as his feet stand far apart and he sits wide with his hands low. This style is very uncommon in MMA, with most fighters having a background in wrestling or jiu-jitsu, or striking arts like boxing, muay thai, or other styles of kickboxing. His wide, karate stance allows him to cover distance, and launch kicks rapidly, which he is known for doing. Analysts and fighters have praised 'Wonderboy' for his ability to keep other fighters in his range whilst staying out of theirs. The risk of being knocked out compels most fighters to keep their hands up in 'guard', but Thompson, among others such as Jiří Procházka, keeps their hands very low. The benefits of a very low guard are that your punches and elbows become very hard to predict, and you are better prepared to defend against takedowns. Thompson is more suited to keeping his hands low than other fighters who adopt more orthodox MMA stances, as he can negate the risk of being hit with a clean shot to the head through his footwork and rapid movement. His footwork is simply described as "hopping back and forth", like other practitioners do such as Conor McGregor and Zhang Weili. The benefit of this "hopping" while in neutral is that, like the low or non-existent guard, that your striking and movement becomes unpredictable.
Championships and accomplishments
All championship information from WonderBoyMMA.com
- 1999 I.S.K.A Georgia State Middleweight Amateur Champion
- 2000 I.S.K.A Southeast Middleweight Amateur Champion
- 2000 I.K.F South East Light Middleweight Amateur Champion
- 2000 I.K.F National Amateur Tournament Middleweight Champion
- 2000 P.K.C National Light Middleweight Amateur Champion
- 2000 U.S.A.K.B.F North American Middleweight Amateur Champion
- 2001 P.K.C National Light Heavyweight Amateur Champion
- 2001 U.S.A.K.B.F Light Heavyweight Amateur World Champion
- 2001 W.P.K.A Light Heavyweight Amateur World Champion
- 2001 I.K.F National Amateur Tournament Light Heavyweight Champion
- 2002 I.K.F National Light Heavyweight Amateur Champion
- 2002 I.K.F North American Amateur Tournament Light Cruiserweight Champion
- 2003 I.K.F Light Cruiserweight Amateur World Champion
- 2003 I.A.K.S.A Cruiserweight World Champion
- 2005 W.A.K.O World Championships Full-Contact Cruiserweight Champion
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|23 matches||16 wins||6 losses|
|Loss||16–6–1||Belal Muhammad||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Daukaus||December 18, 2021||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||16–5–1||Gilbert Burns||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 264||July 10, 2021||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||16–4–1||Geoff Neal||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Neal||December 19, 2020||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||15–4–1||Vicente Luque||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 244||November 2, 2019||3||5:00||New York City, New York, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Loss||14–4–1||Anthony Pettis||KO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Pettis||March 23, 2019||2||4:55||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|Loss||14–3–1||Darren Till||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Till||May 27, 2018||5||5:00||Liverpool, England||Catchweight (174.5 lb) bout; Till missed weight.|
|Win||14–2–1||Jorge Masvidal||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 217||November 4, 2017||3||5:00||New York City, New York, United States|
|Loss||13–2–1||Tyron Woodley||Decision (majority)||UFC 209||March 4, 2017||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||For the UFC Welterweight Championship.|
|Draw||13–1–1||Tyron Woodley||Draw (majority)||UFC 205||November 12, 2016||5||5:00||New York City, New York, United States||For the UFC Welterweight Championship. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||13–1||Rory MacDonald||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Thompson||June 18, 2016||5||5:00||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
|Win||12–1||Johny Hendricks||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs. Thompson||February 6, 2016||1||3:31||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||11–1||Jake Ellenberger||KO (spinning hook kick)||The Ultimate Fighter: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians Finale||July 12, 2015||1||4:29||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||10–1||Patrick Côté||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 178||September 27, 2014||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||9–1||Robert Whittaker||TKO (punches)||UFC 170||February 22, 2014||1||3:43||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||8–1||Chris Clements||TKO (punches)||UFC 165||September 21, 2013||2||1:27||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Win||7–1||Nah-Shon Burrell||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 160||May 25, 2013||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||6–1||Matt Brown||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 145||April 21, 2012||3||5:00||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Win||6–0||Dan Stittgen||KO (head kick)||UFC 143||February 4, 2012||1||4:13||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Knockout of the Night.|
|Win||5–0||Patrick Mandio||Decision (unanimous)||Fight Party: Masquerade Fight Party||October 1, 2011||3||5:00||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Win||4–0||William Kuhn||Decision (unanimous)||Xtreme Chaos 2||July 15, 2011||3||5:00||Anderson, South Carolina, United States|
|Win||3–0||Marques Worrell||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Fight Party: Greenville Kage Fighting 2||September 18, 2010||2||3:08||Greenville, South Carolina, United States|
|Win||2–0||Daniel Finz||TKO (punches)||Fight Party: Xtreme Cage Fighting 2||May 22, 2010||1||3:45||Greenville, South Carolina, United States|
|Win||1–0||Jeremy Joles||TKO (punches)||Fight Party: Greenville Kage Fighting||February 5, 2010||2||3:40||Greenville, South Carolina, United States|
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- "Matt Brown vs. Stephen Thompson added to April's UFC 145 event in Atlanta". mmajunkie.com. February 11, 2012. Archived from the original on February 13, 2012.
- "Stephen Thompson Takes on Besam Yousef at UFC 154". studiomma.com. August 28, 2012. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012.
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- Matt Erickson (18 December 2013). "UFC 170 adds Stephen Thompson vs. 'TUF' winner Robert Whittaker". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
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- Chuck Mindenhall (2014-11-13). "Brandon Thatch set to square off with Stephen Thompson in Colorado". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2014-11-13.
- Staff (2015-01-30). "Stephen Thompson out of UFC Fight Night 60 main event, Brandon Thatch awaits a replacement". mmaweekly.com. Retrieved 2015-01-30.
- Staff (2015-05-15). "UFC Fight Night 70 moves to Florida, gets Machida-Romero; TUF 21 Finale set for Vegas". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
- Mookie Alexander (2015-07-12). "TUF 21 Finale result: Stephen Thompson knocks out Jake Ellenberger with spinning hook kick". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2015-07-12.
- Mike Sloan (2015-07-12). "'TUF 21' Finale Bonuses: Thompson, Usman, Masvidal, Samman nab $50K". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2015-07-12.
- Brett Okamoto (2015-10-22). "Stephen Thompson, Neil Magny agree to fight at UFC 195". espn.go.com. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
- Marc Raimondi (2015-11-03). "Kelvin Gastelum vs. Neil Magny to headline TUF Latin America Finale with Matt Brown out". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
- "Johny Hendericks vs. Stephen Thompson set for UFC Fight Night 82 on February 6 in Las Vegas". mmamania.com. 2015-12-13. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
- Brian Knapp (2016-02-07). "Stephen Thompson obliterates former champ Johny Hendricks in UFC Fight Night 82 headliner". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2016-02-07.
- Staff (2016-02-07). "UFC Fight Night 82 bonuses: 'Wonderboy' gets $50,000 for biggest win of career". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-02-07.
- Staff (2016-03-04). "Rory MacDonald vs. Stephen Thompson headlines UFC Fight Night 89". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
- Steven Marrocco (2016-06-19). "UFC Fight Night 89 results: Stephen Thompson picks apart Rory MacDonald for decision win". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "Woodley vs. Thompson set for UFC 205 in New York". 16 September 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-19.
- Mookie Alexader (2016-11-13). "UFC 205 results: Tyron Woodley retains title with majority draw vs. Stephen Thompson". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
- Damon Martin (2016-11-13). "Dana White confirms Tyron Woodley will rematch Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson". foxsports.com. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
- "Woodley retains title with majority decision win". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-03-05."MMADecisions.com". MMADecisions.com. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
- Dave Doyle (2017-08-17). "Stephen Thompson vs. Jorge Masvidal set for UFC 217". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- "UFC 217 results: Stephen Thompson picks up unanimous nod over Jorge Masvidal". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2017-11-05.
- Ariel Helwani (April 4, 2018). Stephen Thompson ‘Not That Impressed’ by Darren Till – via YouTube.
- "BREAKING | Stephen Thompson vs Darren Till Set to Headline UFC Liverpool | BJPenn.com". | BJPenn.com. 2018-03-22. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
- Staff (2018-05-26). "UFC Fight Night 130 weigh-in results: Darren Till heavy but headliner still on (Updated)". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2018-05-26.
- Ben Kiely (2018-05-27). "MMA community raises a collective eyebrow over controversial Darren Till decision". sportsjoe.ie. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
- "Darren Till def. Stephen Thompson". mmadecisions.com. May 27, 2018.
- "UFC's return to Nashville set with Stephen Thompson vs. Anthony Pettis headliner". mmajunkie.com. January 19, 2019.
- "UFC Nashville results: Anthony Pettis battered, but rallies for one-punch stunner over Stephen Thompson". MMA Junkie. 2019-03-24. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
- Jose Youngs (2019-09-10). "Stephen Thompson vs. Vincente Luque set for UFC 244". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
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- Jon Fuentes (2019-11-03). "UFC 244 Bonuses, Attendance & Gate". lowKickmma.com. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
- "Stephen Thompson vs. Geoff Neal in the works for UFC on ESPN+ 44 on Dec. 19". MMA Junkie. 2020-11-04. Retrieved 2020-11-07.
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- Sherdog.com. "UFC Fight Night 183 Bonuses: Thompson, Font, Tybura, Flick Receive $50K Checks". Sherdog. Retrieved 2020-12-20.
- "Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson booked for UFC 264 in July". MMA Junkie. 2021-04-03. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
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