UFC Fight Night 82 saw the blossoming of a new title contender in the welterweight division, and that guy’s name is Wonderboy. Stephen Thompson picked up the most important win of his MMA career with a thorough thrashing of former champion Johny Hendricks in the headliner of the Vegas card. This wasn’t even supposed to be the main event, and the fight wasn’t supposed to be on free TV. But it was, and fans got to witness a classic performance.
What was the high point of this fight?
Normally I’d say the finish, but I really think entire fight was the high point. Thompson did everything well. His striking was incredibly accurate and just as flashy as usual. His hands in particular were incredible. He didn’t let Hendricks walk him down or corner him at all. And those kicks – wow. It was pretty much the perfect fight for Thompson, and it deserves to be credited in its entirety.
Where do these two go from here?
Thompson steps directly into the title picture at 170, and could already have the best claim to a shot. The UFC really should do Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit 2 next, but if that doesn’t come together, I think Thompson has a better claim to a title shot than Tyron Woodley does. I really do.
Hendricks might never be the same. I mean, he’s Johny Hendricks – he has the skills to be a world champion. But after his weight issues last time and now this, where he got completely blown out of the water, it’s hard to see him as a serious threat for the title in the near future. With that being said, there are some good fights out there for him.
Watch now, later, or never?
Now. It was a work of art, and you need to see it.
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