Skyrocketing UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson shocked possibly the UFC’s most talented division when he knocked out former champion Johny Hendricks in the first round of UFC Fight Night 82 last night from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Coming into the fight at No. 8, Thompson exhibited world-class striking range that simply had “Bigg Rigg” neutralized in the Octagon after an early first round takedown attempt. The much shorter Hendricks never got his once-vaunted power punching going, and instead ate a monstrously precise straight left that opened up the floodgates for one of Thompson’s trademark spinning kicks, after which a flurry of punches caused a surprisingly quick stoppage to the fight.
‘Wonderboy’ called out for a title shot versus Robbie Lawler following his biggest MMA win, and after he handled the former champ with such ease, and it might be tough to deny him at this point. However, there are a slew of top contenders like Rory MacDonald, Tyron Woodley, and Carlos Condit ranked ahead of him, and all of them would certainly make for exciting match-ups that could decide the next title challenger. He could also face the winner of May’s Demian Maia vs. Matt Brown, bout which would be a rematch of his only UFC loss if Brown were to win.
No matter what direction the UFC takes with their flashy star in the making, the future is bright for ‘Wonderboy’ and his next fight will be a pivotal one. Whom do you think he should meet in the Octagon?