You can sign up for a free seven-day trial of ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream UFC on ESPN+ live on your computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.
Stephen Thompson has accomplished some amazing things inside the Octagon. Despite dropping two of his last three bouts, he’s proven himself as one of the top fighters at welterweight. “Wonderboy” will look to get back in the win column when he faces Anthony Pettis this weekend at UFC Fight Night 148.
If one has any doubt of Thompson’s credibility, all they have to do is look at the numbers.
15: Years old when he started competing in karate and kickboxing under the guidance of his father, himself a professional kickboxer and owner of a karate school. Unbeaten in amateur and professional kickboxing, Thompson is considered as one of the most decorated strikers to ever set foot inside the Octagon.
5: Wins without a loss before getting a call from the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He fought mostly in his home state of South Carolina, stopping three of his five opponents.
1: Round was all it took for him to impress UFC fans. His rich karate background was on full display when he knocked out Dan Stittgen with a head kick at UFC 143. This proves that his brand of karate translates well into mixed martial arts.
67: Significant strikes against Matt Brown’s 36 when they met at UFC 145. While “Wonderboy” landed more strikes, it was Brown who threw the more telling blows, including a series of elbows that bloodied Thompson’s forehead. His opponent also exposed holes in the kickboxer’s game, as he was taken down five times.
7: Consecutive victories after suffering the first setback of his career. Thompson beat Nah-Shon Burrell, Chris Clements, Robert Whittaker, Patrick Cote, Jake Ellenberger, Johny Hendricks and Rory MacDonald.
223: Seconds was all he needed to starch future UFC middleweight king, Whittaker. In their UFC 170 bout, Thompson proved that he can handle the pressure of being on the main card and going up against a heavy hitter. He won by TKO and earned his first Performance of the Night bonus.
5: Post-fight bonuses in the UFC. He has garnered one Knockout of the Night (against Stittgen), one Fight of the Night (with Tyron Woodley) and three Performance of the Night (versus Whittaker, Ellenberger and Hendricks) bonuses.
2: Bouts against Woodley. Thompson challenged “The Chosen One” at UFC 205 for the welterweight title but their match ended in a majority draw. He tried to usurp the champion once again four months later at UFC 209 but lost a majority decision.
110: Significant strikes is the most he landed in a single UFC fight. These were dished out against MacDonald. Thompson maintained his unpredictability and picked the younger fighter apart with crisp striking over five rounds to take the unanimous decision victory.
5: First-round finishes. “Wonderboy” maintains a high level of maturity especially in terms of striking. He picks his shots and ends fights when the opportunity presents itself. His victims include Stittgen, Whittaker, Ellenberger, Hendricks and Daniel Finz.