A Closer Look at Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and His Fighting Style

Published 06/22/2021, 10:44 PM EDT
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – MARCH 23: Stephen Thompson walks to the Octagon prior to his welterweight bout against Anthony Pettis during the UFC Fight Night event at Bridgestone Arena on March 23, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Stephen Thompson is one of the best fighters in the UFC at 170-pounds. ‘Wonderboy’ is a former title challenger at welterweight and has fought for UFC gold not once, but twice. In his first title fight, he pushed champion, Tyron Woodley, all five rounds to a draw. In the second fight, ‘Wonderboy’ lost the fight via majority decision. 

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Thompson is currently only on a two-fight win streak and will take on Gilbert Burns on the main card at UFC 264. If he is able to win the fight, a title shot would not be too far away for ‘Wonderboy’. Ahead of his upcoming fight, we take a look at Thompson’s fight style and what makes him so difficult to prepare for.

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Can Stephen Thompson fight his way back to a title shot with a win at UFC 264?

Wonderboy’ entered the UFC as a highly touted talent given he had a stunning record of 58-0 as a kickboxer. Thompson is a very high-level black belt in Karate, which he displays every time he steps into a UFC octagon. ‘Wonderboy’ adopts a traditional karate stance, which means that his feet are generally very far apart, and he sits wide. This allows him to move freely and switch stances easily. However, it also leaves him susceptible to leg kicks and takedowns. 

Thompson also uses his kicks very well and mixes them up really well. His kicks are extremely potent and have helped him secure multiple knockouts in the UFC. He does an outstanding job of disguising his kicks and adding them at the end of boxing combinations. Furthermore, he is extremely comfortable in both southpaw and orthodox which makes it hard for his opponents. 

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Over the course of his UFC career, ‘Wonderboy’ has landed an impressive 4.24 significant strikes per minute while absorbing a mere 2.80 in return. When it comes to takedown defense, Thompson has a decent defense rate of 78%. 

The clash between Burns and Thompson will not only be a crucial one with the title picture in mind, but it will also be an extremely interesting matchup stylistically. 

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What do you make of the fight between Thompson and Burns? Who do you think takes the win? Let us know in the comments below!

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Kevin Binoy

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Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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