stephen-thompson-7.jpgTORONTO – Stephen Thompson picked up what is likely the biggest win of his career on Saturday at UFC 165, but rather than looking ahead, the welterweight prospect can’t help but dwell on the past.

Thompson (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), a lifelong karate practitioner and decorated amateur kickboxer, stopped Chris Clements (11-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) with a second-round knockout in a FOX Sports 1-televised preliminary-card bout at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. But for Thompson, whose status as a can’t-miss prospect took a hit with an April 2012 loss to Matt Brown, the defeat still stings.

However, the 30-year-old striker, who showed improved wrestling and grappling in Saturday’s bout, sees the silver lining. While once on the verge of a UFC release, Brown built off the Thompson victory and has now won six consecutive bouts. It’s moved him into the No. 9 slot in the USA TODAY Sports/ MMA welterweight rankings and earned him a high-profile UFC on FOX 9 fight with ex-interim champ Carlos Condit later this year.

It, in turn, has helped Thompson.

“My second fight in the UFC, I fought Matt Brown, who’s doing awesome right now,” he told “I’m cheering him on. He’s doing a great job.

“But he’s the only thing on my mind right now. He’s my only loss since I’ve been in the fight game, so I’ve got to work my way up and see if we can do it again. I think we put on a good show that night, and I think we can do it again.”

Aside from Clements, Thompson’s other UFC wins have come over Dan Stittgen and Nah-Shon Burrell. It’s not the quality of competition that’s likely to earn “Wonderboy” a rematch with Brown anytime soon, but UFC President Dana White is among the supporters who are willing to wait for Thompson to continue his development.

“He lost to a guy that’s been on an absolute tear and is going to get a shot at Carlos Condit,” White said. “If you’re going to lose to somebody, that was the guy to lose to right now.”

Brown’s recent success has obviously helped Thompson’s stock in the 170-pound division. However, Thompson’s (perhaps surprising) UFC 165 performance is likely to do just as much good. While some dismissed the dynamic striker as a one-trick pony, he showcased some new skills after Clements swept his legs out from under him. Thomspon forced the fight to the mat and unloaded some ground and pound, where he looked far more comfortable.

But in the second round, he unloaded some characteristic punches and floored Clements to force a TKO stoppage just 87 seconds into the frame.

“It played out the way we played it at the gym,” he said. “I knew he was going to come out. He had some pretty cool tricks in the first round. That cool dragon-tail sweep was pretty. I always thought about doing that to somebody, and it happens to me. I knew he was going to swing. He left himself open. I was just looking for that window, and there it was.”

For complete coverage of UFC 165, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Neil Magny vs. Kelvin Gastelum Turns into Back-and-Forth Brawl at UFC: Monterrey

  • 3 days ago

Matt Brown's loss turned out to be Neil Magny's gain at the UFC's latest foray into Mexico, with The Ultimate Fighter 16 alum edging out the favored Kelvin Gastelum via a narrow split decision at UFC read news >>

Kelvin Gastelum beat up a steering wheel when Matt Brown was scratched from fight

  • 6 days ago

UFC welterweight Kelvin Gastelum admits he needed to work himself up for a fight against short-notice replacement Neil Magny at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 78.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, read news >>

Neil Magny gets call to face Kelvin Gastelum in UFC Fight Night 78 main event

  • 21 days ago

With Matt Brown forced out of his UFC Fight Night 78 main event against Kelvin Gastelum due to injury, it will be Neil Magny stepping in as a late-notice replacement.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Matt Brown Injured, Out of UFC Fight Night 78 Headliner

  • 21 days ago

The UFC Fight Night 78 card received a major blow on Monday, as main eventer Matt Brown had to withdraw due to an undisclosed injury. read news >>

With Matt Brown officially out, UFC seeks replacement (but it won't be Tyron Woodley)

  • 21 days ago

Matt Brown is officially out of this month’s UFC Fight Night 78 headliner, and a replacement search is underway. But one notable has already taken his name off the list of candidates.Filed under: New read news >>

Matt Brown Withdraws from Fight with Kelvin Gastelum, Future of Bout Uncertain

  • 22 days ago

Matt Brown, citing an injury, has been forced to pull out of his November 21 main event bout with Kelvin Gastelum. The popular welterweight evidently injured his ankle while training, according to a read news >>

Matt Brown says he's out of UFC Fight Night 78 headliner vs. Kelvin Gastelum

  • 22 days ago

Less than three weeks before their fight in Mexico, Matt Brown is out of his welterweight main event against Kelvin Gastelum.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

UFC's Vitor Belfort Spars, Prays with Presidential Candidate Ben Carson

  • 28 days ago

Ben Carson picked up a new endorsement today as he continues his run for the Republican party's presidential nomination: UFC middleweight and ex-champ Vitor Belfort. Apparently the two men and variou read news >>

Bellator 144 winner Goiti Yamauchi calls for winner of champ ‘Pitbull’ vs. Straus 2

  • 29 days ago

Featherweight Goiti Yamauchi picked up his third straight win in the Bellator cage this past Friday at Bellator 144, and now he wants to be rewarded for his efforts.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>