From Karate Kid to Wonderboy, Stephen Thompson Makes the Most of His UFC Debut


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

Stephen Wonderboy Thompson
Things couldn’t have gone much better for Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson than they did during his debut fight in the UFC.

Thompson stepped in on short notice to make his UFC debut and then even got a little extra treat when his opponent changed just a few days later.

The 57-0 kickboxing prodigy didn’t bat an eye at the changes however, and instead uncorked a headkick knockout of opponent Dan Stittgen late in the first round to win his first fight in the Octagon, and a few hours later took him ‘Knockout of the Night’ honors.

“Words can’t describe it, I was definitely on cloud 9,” Thompson told MMAWeekly Radio after his fight.

It’s sometimes tough to get attention when you’re on the undercard for a major UFC pay-per-view, but ‘Wonderboy’ certainly did his part to get more than a few eyes on him. Even UFC President Dana White raved about his performance, but he already knew a lot about the karate kid after hearing so much courtesy of UFC commentator Joe Rogan.

“Joe Rogan has been talking about this guy in his sleep. Every time I talk to Rogan, he was going crazy about this kid and then for him to come in and pull off a kick like that was awesome,” White said about Thompson following UFC 143.

“You keep doing (expletive) like that, you’re going to be very marketable, and people are going to love to watch you fight.”

It’s hard to imagine a fighter with a 63-0 professional record between kickboxing and MMA still having an ounce of humility left, but that’s pretty much all Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson is made of. Hearing about Rogan’s compliments only made him throw some back at the Eddie Bravo trained grappler.

“It’s a tremendous feeling, especially someone like Joe Rogan, he’s the man. He’s out there commentating and he knows the game so well, he’s like a guru of the martial arts,” Thompson said about Rogan. “It’s really good for somebody like Joe Rogan or Dana White to talk about you, even though it was my first UFC fight. It gives me a tremendous amount of confidence and I’m ready for the next one whenever that is.”

One aspect that just about everyone was talking about after Thompson’s debut was his unique stance during his fight with Stittgen. Well, technically it was only unique to those not from a karate background.

See, Thompson learned karate almost as early as he learned how to read, and he’s carried his father’s martial art with him every step of the way. He now proudly displays it in the Octagon, and while he may not pull off a crane kick anytime soon, expect ‘Wonderboy’ to be a proud karate fighter for years to come.

“Karate’s what I started with from day one. It is my life,” said Thompson. “It’s good to see karate come back into the fight game. I’ve heard so many other MMA guys talk bad about karate, and how it shouldn’t be used in MMA.

“I mean look at Lyoto Machida, he’s at the top and he’s a karate guy. It’s really good to see karate get used in MMA. There’s a lot of things karate can help out with in MMA, especially with the movements, the awkward angles karate gives you, and it definitely helps out with your striking.”

Now with his initial UFC fight behind him and a ‘Knockout of the Night’ bonus in his pocket, Thompson isn’t slowing down. On Monday just after his fight, Thompson was already back in the gym teaching his students and getting back into his normal training regimen.

It might be hard for some fighters to top the kind of debut that Thompson had, but there’s a reason they call him ‘Wonderboy’. He’s already looking forward to the opportunity.

“It was my first fight and really whoever Dana White puts in front of me, I’m going to be ready for it. My ground game is getting better everyday, my wrestling is getting better everyday, and I’m just going to go back,” said Thompson.

“I’m not going to take a day off, I’ll be ready for whoever he puts in front of me.”

Follow @DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon Martin.
For more
UFC News and UFC Rumors, follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 8 days ago
  • 41 views

Two exciting welterweight showdowns will take place in "Sin City" this fall. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been busy behind the scenes this weekend, pushing out match ups for its late summer/early fall fight cards. Joining the upcoming UFC 178 pay-per-view (PPV) event, scheduled for Sept. 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a welterweight bangfest pitting Patrick Cote against Stephen Thompson. Winnipeg Free Press brought word of the pairing earlier today. Cote (20-8) has won three in a more

  • 8 days ago
  • 35 views

Welterweights Patrick Cote and Stephen Thompson have agreed to meet at UFC 178, according to a Sunday report from the Canadian Press. more

  • 8 days ago
  • 35 views

The worldwide leader for mixed martial arts and UFC news, MMA News, UFC Rumors, MMA Rankings, Interviews, Videos, UFC Results, and UFC Blog more

  • 8 days ago
  • 19 views

Patrick Cote didn’t get his preferred matchup, but he got a solid opponent for his next outing.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC more

  • 7 days ago
  • 28 views

Rising welterweights will battle at the UFC 178 card in Las Vegas, as the promotion announced that former UFC title contender Patrick Cote will take on knockout artist Stephen Thompson in the pay-per-view card at Nevada’s pay-per-view card on Sept. 27. Cote (20-8) enters the fight coming off three consecutive victories over Alessio Sakara, Bobby Voelker and Kyle Noke. The TUF: Nations coach is 3-1 since his return to the Octagon. The Canadian went 4-0 when fighting for other promotions in 2011 a more

  • 21 days ago
  • 33 views

Former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber discussed his position on the UFC 175 fight card, which he considers to be a smart decision for more exposure. Urijah Faber is not concerned with being placed on the preliminary portion of the UFC 175 fight card. In fact, he believes the UFC's decision to place him there "makes a little more sense." The former WEC Featherweight champion indirectly caused a wave of frustration from fans and pundits alike when it was announced that he would be headlin more

  • 24 days ago
  • 57 views

The UFC makes it's debut in New Zealand with a fight card headlined by two fighters desperately needing a win, as the main event is the first time in UFC history both fighters are coming off of back-to-back losses (three in a row for Marquardt). The card also features a top-flight featherweight clash along with an assortment of regional talent. Will Marquardt be able to get back on the winning track or is Te Huna ready to make his mark in his new home of middleweight? I answer these questions an more

  • 25 days ago
  • 29 views

Former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker revealed some of Bellator’s upcoming plans in an open letter to fans. Bellator MMA's new President Scott Coker wrote an open letter to fans of the promotion addressing some topics of recent discussion, including his early plans and what can also be expected in the future. Coker made it clear that his "first order of business" is to make some adjustments to the current roster, and emphasized the company's intent to focus on excitement. This was made evidently cl more

  • 25 days ago
  • 22 views

Since they're all in the twilight of their careers, it seemed natural for the UFC to add Takanori Gomi, Norafumi "Kid" Yamamoto and Yoshihiro Akiyama to the UFC Fight Night 52 card in September in Japan, according to Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting. Although none of the three men have flourished since joining the UFC, the company's brass must assume that if anything's going to motivate them, it'll be the UFC's first trip to Japan since UFC on Fuel TV 8. Of the three, only Gomi fought on the UFC on more