WATCH: The Only KO Loss For Stephen Thompson in His MMA Career

Published 06/22/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 04: Stephen Thompson waits for the decision after his title fight against welterweight champion Tyron Woodley during UFC 209 on March 4, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Woodley retained his title with a majority-decision win. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

Stephen Thompson is one of the best fighters not just in the welterweight division, but UFC in its entirety. The ‘Wonderboy’ is one of those few fighters who keeps his game clean either on the mic or for that matter in the octagon.


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The American started his MMA career in 2010 for local promotion. It was not long before his style and performance gathered the eyeballs of those responsible for running the biggest MMA production house.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 02: (R-L) Stephen Thompson punches Vicente Luque of Brazil in their welterweight bout during the UFC 244 event at Madison Square Garden on November 02, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

He made his debut for UFC in 2012 and has only grown leaps and bounds after that. In a career spanning 9 years, ‘Wonderboy’ has accumulated 11 wins and 4 losses for the promotion.


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Out of those 4 losses, there is only one instance of him being handed defeat by KO/TKO. Let’s revisit the match and analyze that loss.

Stephen Thompson vs Anthony Pettis- a shocking loss for ‘Wonderboy’

Thompson (16-4) fought Anthony Pettis at UFC Fight Night 148. The former was heading into the match after not-so-convincing performances in his last few matches. The matchup pitted an ace kickboxer vs a diverse striker.

Pettis was making a debut in the welterweight division, and in the end, it seemed like he was fighting for eternity in the division.

The first rounded started with both men trading equal shots over each other. They fought most of the round on feet and either fighter countered each other’s blows. The round ended on equal terms.

The thing that made ‘Wonderboy’ so successful was his use of karate kicks. He always wants his opponents at a distance so that he can use those kicks with full range. If his opponent came close, he would use punches to thwart them away.

The only problem this time with Pettis was that the latter always kept himself close to him. Thus, Thompson didn’t find his groove throughout the match.

In the final 10-seconds of the second round, Thompson closed in on Pettis in a pursuit to attempt a sidekick. As the kick faded away to the right, Thompson squared up in front of Pettis and the distance narrowed between them.

Pettis used the cage and landed a thunderous superman punch that sent ‘Wonderboy’ splashing into the canvas. Some vicious punches followed this before Herb Dean stopped the match and raised Pettis’ hand.


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What ‘Wonderboy’ said after this loss?

In an interview with Joe Rogan, ‘Wonderboy’ explained what it was like facing the superman punch from the ‘Showtime’.

It wasn’t even hard. I’ve been hit harder,” he said. “This was just right on the button. To be honest, it was a relief getting knocked out. I mean I’ve got close to 80-something fights with kickboxing and MMA together and I’ve never been knocked out.”


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“It was always one of those, ‘This is gonna be it… this is gonna be the time I get knocked out.’ This was always going through my head. And now that it happened, it’s not that bad (laughs). I’d rather get knocked out than get the cr*p beaten out of me for five minutes,” he added.

Well, that was a one of its kind of loss for the ‘Wonderboy’. It’s hard to see the latter being assaulted via his own game but Pettis did something wonderful that night that won’t fade away soon.

What was your reaction when Pettis landed the superman punch?


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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

394 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.