The UFC has released a new video giving the behind the scenes goings on at UFC 143 when Stephen Thompson made his debut against Dan Stittgen. The video shows some behind the scenes moments with Thompson and Stittgen as they prepare for battle as well as Thompson's friend and training partner Georges St. Pierre and UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.
The 28-year-old Thompson (6-0) came to the UFC with more hype than the usual undefeated prospect due to his amazing run in karate and kickboxing competitions where he racked up more than 62 victories to no defeats. He was a champion in Chuck Norris' World Combat League.
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BE's resident striking specialist Fraser Coffeen dissected Thompson's KO kick over Stittgen:
When you really break it down, this is essentially just a straight roundhouse kick. Because Thompson comes from a karate background, he chooses to land the kick with the instep of his foot as opposed to the shin, as you more commonly see with fighters from a Muay Thai background, but aside from that small change, what you have is a roundhouse kick.
Where Thompson really shines is the set-up. He has two nice elements to his set-up - one common, and one that is a bit more unique. First, he hides the head kick by beginning it as a leg kick. If you watch his thigh, you can see that he is at first aiming towards the leg, but then brings it up to the head at the last minute. This is a relatively common technique in various kickboxing styles, as it lulls your opponent into letting their head defenses down a bit. You don't see it as much in MMA, and Thompson does it very well here.