clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

TUF 21 Finale main event recap: Thompson lands knockout of the year candidate

New, comments

Bloody Elbow recaps the fights from The Ultimate Fighter: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians Finale on Sunday night in Las Vegas, Nevada. Here, we look at the main event between Stephen Thompson and Jake Ellenberger.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday evening, Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson pulled off one of his most impressive performances to date against the ever-tough Jake Ellenberger. Early in the opening exchanges Thompson was dropped by Ellenberger but was able to recover composure. Thompson's recovery and subsequent finish were spectacular, the karate expert landed a pair of spinning kicks which rendered Ellenberger unconscious.
With Stephen Thompson's knockout and an exciting main card,fight fans were treated to the perfect finish for a perfect weekend of fights.

Official result: Stephen Thompson defeated Jake Ellenberger by KO (spinning hook kick), 4:29 of round 1

What was the high point of the fight?

This fight was short and sweet. Ellenberger looked his old self in opening exchanges, landing with power to the oncoming Thompson. As the round progressed Wonderboy began to find his rhythm. Surprisingly, Thompson instigated some grappling exchanges against Ellenberger and managed to take the tough-wrestler to the canvas. The real high point of this fight was Thompson's slick striking and in particular the two spinning hook kicks which he used to finish Ellenberger.

Where do these two go from here?

The best thing that ever happened to Stephen Thompson was his loss against Matt Brown. Losing to Matt Brown forced Thompson to reevaluate his training methods and now Wonderboy has became a well-rounded phenomenon. Through his training sessions with Ryan Hall and Chris Weidman, Thompson's grappling seem to have improved immensely. I would love to see him get another main event slot against Gunnar Nelson at UFC Dublin.

Jake Ellenberger has just became a father. Ellenberger's priority will more than likely be his home life over the next few months. When Ellenberger does return to the cage, I feel he should perhaps look for a new place to train. Over recent years Ellenberger's evolution has began to stagnate, so a change of scenery may do him the world of good.

Watch now, later, or never?

Watch this one right now. This spectacular performance from Thompson could truly the be the beginning of something special.