2012 World MMA Welterweight Scouting Report: #10 – Stephen Thompson

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Name: 22px-flag_of_the_united_states Stephen Thompson
Nickname: Wonderboy
Age: 28
Height: 6'0"
Location:
Simpsonville, South Carolina

Imagine eavesdropping on a conversation between two fans. A hardcore fan tells his buddy about an up-and-coming prospect in South Carolina who racked up an incredible 53-0-0-1 record in kickboxing. He won nearly every single amateur kickboxing title on the planet, and now he's making his way into the sport of mixed martial arts. You palm a smirk.

"His takedown defense is probably terrible, and he'll get owned on the ground with no experience in the grappling department. He'll fail," says Steve, your casual fan friend whose favorite fighter is Kimbo Slice. Steve wouldn't be off base with his comments however. It's difficult for anyone to believe a world-class kickboxer can succeed without some sort of background in the grappling arts.

Luckily, 28-year-old Stephen Thompson (5-0) is well-versed on the ground, practicing Tetsushin Ryu Jiu-Jitsu under his brother-in-law, none other than legendary grappler Carlos Machado. If that weren't enough, his thirty-two knockouts on the amateur kickboxing circuit and #1 ranking during his days in the World Combat League suggest he was a prodigy talent in the striking arts at a young age. Add twenty-four years of experience and a bevy of world-class training partners such as Georges St. Pierre and Rashad Evans to the mix, and you've got a fighter with loads of potential.

There is some mystery surrounding Thompson's progression, mainly due to the lack of footage of MMA action, but from secondary accounts I've been able to gather - there is a buzz surrounding Thompson. Most fans who've seen him in action agree that he has the goods to make an eventual run at a top-tier promotion, and they've even likened his style to that of Lyoto Machida.

Thompson's credentials are awe-inspiring, and the fanatical fan deep inside of us wants to proclaim him the next prodigy. But we're realists, and Thompson has a lot to prove moving forward. Specifically, his strength of competition isn't great, nor is he fighting enough to warrant an immediate move to the UFC or Bellator. The next step is the tougher competition that awaits him in a larger regional promotion. If he can past the test there with flying colors, Thompson will get the attention he deserves and make waves by the end of the year.

Check out video footage of Stephen Thompson after the jump...

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#1 - Rony Mariano
#2 - Aljamain Sterling
#3 - Chris Holdsworth
#4 - Josh Hill
#5 - Fabiano Fernandes
#6 - Claudio Ledesma
#7 - Sirwan Kakai
#8 - Kyoji Horiguchi
#9 - Leandro Hygo
#10 - Pedro Munhoz
#1 - Hacran Dias
#2 - Joey Gambino
#3 - Brandon Bender
#4 - Lance Palmer
#5 - Jim Alers
#6 - Anthony Gutierrez
#7 - Max Holloway
#8 - John Teixeira
#9 - Cody Bollinger
#10 - Bubba Jenkins
#1 - Fabricio Guerreiro
#2 - Alessandro Ferreira
#3 - Adriano Martins
#4 - Justin Salas
#5 - Neilson Gomes
#6 - Eduard Folayang
#7 - Zorobabel Moreira
#8 - Anton Kuivanen
#9 - Jordan Rinaldi
#10 - J.P. Vainikainen
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Stephen Thompson Promo


Stephen Thompson vs. James DeCore
World Combat League

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson (USA) vs. Sergej Bogdan (RUS)
2005 WAKO Gold Medal Match

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson vs Tim Williams

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