Stephen Thompson (fighter)

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Stephen Thompson
From cancer to company commander 130802-M-AR522-306 (cropped).jpg
Stephen Thompson in 2013
BornStephen Randall Thompson
(1983-02-11) February 11, 1983 (age 39)
Simpsonville, South Carolina, U.S.
Nickname(s)Wonderboy
NationalityAmerican
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)
DivisionWelterweight
Reach75 in (191 cm)[1]
StyleKickboxing
Fighting out ofSimpsonville, South Carolina, U.S.
TeamUpstate Karate
Pitch Black MMA
Serra-Longo Fight Team[2]
TrainerRay Thompson
Carlos Machado
Rank5th degree black belt in Tetsushin-ryū Kempo[3][4]
1st degree black belt in Jujutsu[4]
Black belt in American Kickboxing[3]
Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Carlos Machado[5]
Years active2010–present (MMA)
Kickboxing record
Total58
Wins58
Losses0
Mixed martial arts record
Total23
Wins16
By knockout7
By submission1
By decision8
Losses6
By knockout1
By decision5
Draws1
Other information
Websitewonderboymma.com
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Stephen Randall Thompson (born February 11, 1983)[6] 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.[7][8] Thompson is regarded as one of the most accomplished strikers in the UFC,[9][10] as well as one of most respectful fighters in the sport.[11][12][13] As of April 12, 2022, he is #7 in the UFC welterweight rankings.[14]

Early life[edit]

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.[15][16]

Thompson started competing in kickboxing and karate at the age of 15.[17] He holds black belt ranks in Tetsushin-ryū Kempo,[4] American Kickboxing and Jujutsu.[4] 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[edit]

Early career[edit]

Thompson's father, Ray, is his trainer and manager.

In 2006, Thompson was the #1 ranked fighter in Chuck NorrisWorld Combat League.

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.[18]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

2012[edit]

Thompson was expected to face Justin Edwards on February 4, 2012, at UFC 143, replacing an injured Mike Stumpf.[19] However, Edwards was forced out with an injury and replaced by Dan Stittgen.[20] 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 lost to Matt Brown on April 21, 2012, at UFC 145 via unanimous decision (30–27, 29–27, and 30–27).[21]

Thompson was expected to face Besam Yousef on November 17, 2012, at UFC 154.[22] However, Thompson was forced out of the bout with a knee injury and replaced by Matthew Riddle.[23]

2013[edit]

Thompson was expected to face Amir Sadollah on May 25, 2013, at UFC 160.[24] However, Sadollah pulled out of the bout, citing an injury, and he was replaced by Nah-Shon Burrell.[25] Thompson won the fight via unanimous decision (29–28, 30–27, and 29–28).

Thompson next faced Chris Clements on September 21, 2013, at UFC 165.[26] He won the fight via knockout in the second round.

2014[edit]

Thompson faced future UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker on February 22, 2014, at UFC 170.[27] Thompson won the bout via first-round technical knockout.[28] The win also earned him his first Performance of the Night bonus award.[29]

Thompson faced Patrick Côté on September 27, 2014, at UFC 178.[30] Thompson won the fight via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, and 30–27).

2015[edit]

Thompson was expected to headline against Brandon Thatch on February 14, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 60.[31] However, Thompson pulled out of the fight on January 30, citing a rib injury, and was replaced by former UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson.[32]

Thompson faced Jake Ellenberger on July 12, 2015, at The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale.[33] He won the fight via KO in the first round and earned a Performance of the Night bonus.[34][35]

2016[edit]

Thompson was expected to face Neil Magny on January 2, 2016, at UFC 195.[36] 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.[37] 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.[38] He won the bout via TKO in the first round.[39] The win also earned Thompson his third Performance of the Night bonus award.[40]

Thompson next faced Rory MacDonald on June 18, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 89.[41] He won the fight via unanimous decision (50–45, 50–45, and 48–47).[42]

Thompson fought for the UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 205, where he faced reigning champion Tyron Woodley.[43] 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.[44] Subsequently, both fighters were awarded Fight of the Night bonus awards.[44] UFC President Dana White stated that he expected that a rematch would be next for each fighter.[45]

2017[edit]

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.[46]

Thompson faced Jorge Masvidal on November 4, 2017 at UFC 217.[47] He won the one-sided fight via unanimous decision (30–26, 30–27, and 30–27).[48]

2018[edit]

As the first bout of his new multi-fight contract, Thompson faced Darren Till on May 27, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 130.[49][50] 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.[51] Thompson lost the bout via unanimous decision (48–47, 49–46, and 49–46).[52] Conversely, 22 of 25 media outlets scored the bout in favor of Thompson.[53]

2019[edit]

Thompson faced former UFC Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis in the headliner of UFC on ESPN+ 6 on March 23, 2019.[54] 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.[55]

Thompson faced Vicente Luque on November 2, 2019 at UFC 244.[56] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[57] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[58]

2020[edit]

Thompson faced Geoff Neal on December 19, 2020 in the headliner UFC Fight Night 183.[59] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[60] This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.[61]

2021[edit]

Thompson faced Gilbert Burns on July 10, 2021 at UFC 264[62] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[63]

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.[64][65] He lost via unanimous decision after being forced into bottom position on the ground for a large portion of each round.[66]

Fighting style[edit]

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.[67] 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.[68]

Personal life[edit]

Thompson's sister is married to Carlos Machado[17] and Thompson's brother, Tony, is married to Chris Weidman's sister.[69]

In 2017, he signed a contract with international modeling agency IMG Models.[70]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Kickboxing[edit]

All championship information from WonderBoyMMA.com[71]

  • 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[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
23 matches 16 wins 6 losses
By knockout 7 1
By submission 1 0
By decision 8 5
Draws 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
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

[72]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  17. ^ a b Dundas, Chad. "UFC's 'Wonderboy' and the Re-Emergence of the Karate Master in the Octagon". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
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  19. ^ "Stumpf injured, replacement Thompson meets Edwards at UFC 143". mmajunkie.com. January 10, 2011. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012.
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  29. ^ Brent Brookhouse (2014-02-23). "UFC 170 bonuses: Rousey, Maia, MacDonald and Thompson each take home $50,000". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  30. ^ Grienke, Keith (July 13, 2014). "The Predator vs Wonderboy at UFC 178". TopMMANews.
  31. ^ Chuck Mindenhall (2014-11-13). "Brandon Thatch set to square off with Stephen Thompson in Colorado". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2014-11-13.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ 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.
  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^ Mike Sloan (2015-07-12). "'TUF 21' Finale Bonuses: Thompson, Usman, Masvidal, Samman nab $50K". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2015-07-12.
  36. ^ Brett Okamoto (2015-10-22). "Stephen Thompson, Neil Magny agree to fight at UFC 195". espn.go.com. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ "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.
  39. ^ Brian Knapp (2016-02-07). "Stephen Thompson obliterates former champ Johny Hendricks in UFC Fight Night 82 headliner". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2016-02-07.
  40. ^ Staff (2016-02-07). "UFC Fight Night 82 bonuses: 'Wonderboy' gets $50,000 for biggest win of career". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-02-07.
  41. ^ Staff (2016-03-04). "Rory MacDonald vs. Stephen Thompson headlines UFC Fight Night 89". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  42. ^ 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.
  43. ^ "Woodley vs. Thompson set for UFC 205 in New York". 16 September 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-19.
  44. ^ a b Mookie Alexader (2016-11-13). "UFC 205 results: Tyron Woodley retains title with majority draw vs. Stephen Thompson". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  45. ^ Damon Martin (2016-11-13). "Dana White confirms Tyron Woodley will rematch Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson". foxsports.com. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  46. ^ "Woodley retains title with majority decision win". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-03-05."MMADecisions.com". MMADecisions.com. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  47. ^ Dave Doyle (2017-08-17). "Stephen Thompson vs. Jorge Masvidal set for UFC 217". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  48. ^ "UFC 217 results: Stephen Thompson picks up unanimous nod over Jorge Masvidal". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2017-11-05.
  49. ^ Ariel Helwani (April 4, 2018). Stephen Thompson ‘Not That Impressed’ by Darren Till – via YouTube.
  50. ^ "BREAKING | Stephen Thompson vs Darren Till Set to Headline UFC Liverpool | BJPenn.com". | BJPenn.com. 2018-03-22. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  51. ^ 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.
  52. ^ Ben Kiely (2018-05-27). "MMA community raises a collective eyebrow over controversial Darren Till decision". sportsjoe.ie. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  53. ^ "Darren Till def. Stephen Thompson". mmadecisions.com. May 27, 2018.
  54. ^ "UFC's return to Nashville set with Stephen Thompson vs. Anthony Pettis headliner". mmajunkie.com. January 19, 2019.
  55. ^ "UFC Nashville results: Anthony Pettis battered, but rallies for one-punch stunner over Stephen Thompson". MMA Junkie. 2019-03-24. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  56. ^ Jose Youngs (2019-09-10). "Stephen Thompson vs. Vincente Luque set for UFC 244". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  57. ^ Richardson, Andrew (2019-11-02). "Thompson Picks Luque Apart!". MMAmania.com. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  58. ^ a b Jon Fuentes (2019-11-03). "UFC 244 Bonuses, Attendance & Gate". lowKickmma.com. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  59. ^ "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.
  60. ^ Doherty, Dan (2020-12-19). "UFC Vegas 17 Results: Stephen Thompson Dominates Geoff Neal With Expert Striking". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2020-12-20.
  61. ^ a b Sherdog.com. "UFC Fight Night 183 Bonuses: Thompson, Font, Tybura, Flick Receive $50K Checks". Sherdog. Retrieved 2020-12-20.
  62. ^ "Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson booked for UFC 264 in July". MMA Junkie. 2021-04-03. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  63. ^ Anderson, Jay (2021-07-11). "UFC 264 Results: Gilbert Burns Survives Late Scare, Earns Decision Over Stephen Thompson". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  64. ^ Ariel Helwani (December 14, 2021). Stephen Thompson Wants To Be Oldest Guy Who Ever Fought In UFC - MMA Fighting – via YouTube.
  65. ^ Jay Pettry (2021-11-11). "Stephen Thompson-Belal Muhammad welterweight battle set for UFC Fight Night 199". Sherdog. Retrieved 2021-11-11.
  66. ^ Anderson, Jay (2021-12-18). "UFC Vegas 45: Belal Muhammad Out-Grapples Stephen Thompson for Decision Win". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2021-12-19.
  67. ^ "Karate Movement for MMA with Stephen".
  68. ^ "Karate Movement for MMA with Stephen".
  69. ^ "Stephen Thompson and Chris Weidman are part of the same family now". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2018-05-15..
  70. ^ Darcella, Aria (2017-08-30). "Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson Officially Adds "Model" To His Resume". CR Fashion Book. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  71. ^ "Wonderboy MMA". Wonderboy MMA. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
  72. ^ Sherdog.com. "Stephen". Sherdog. Retrieved 2019-11-03.

External links[edit]