The 2nd preliminary card fight on Fox Sports 1 sees two welterweight strikers square off, as Chris Clements (11-4, 1 NC) takes on Stephen Thompson (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC). UFC 165 is headlined by a light heavyweight title defense from champion Jon Jones against Sweden's Alexander Gustafsson.
Clements has been away from the Octagon for over a year, but thanks to Matt Riddle's failed drug test he's technically not coming off of a loss. Thompson picked up a much needed win earlier this year and his kickboxing combined with Clements' power punching could make this a FOTN contender. The UFC 165 prelims air on Fox Sports 1 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT and will lead into the 10 PM ET/7 PM PT PPV broadcast.
How do these two stack up?
Clements: 37 years old | 5'10" | 70" reach
Thompson: 30 years old | 6'0" | 75" reach
What have these two done lately?
Clements: NC - Matt Riddle (RIDDLE FAILED DRUG TEST) | W - Keith Wisniewski (UD) | W - Rich Clementi (TKO)
Thompson: W - Nah-Shon Burrell (UD) | L - Matt Brown (UD) | W - Dan Stittgen (KO)
How did these two get here?
Clements is up there in age, but has only fought in pro MMA for 8 years. He started off just 6-4 in his first 10 fights, and along the way he lost to former UFC fighters Rory Markham, Jesse Bongfeldt, and John Alessio. But the Ontario native has developed some consistency, and after a TKO of Rich Clementi he was signed by the UFC. He did not disappoint in his debut against Keith Wisniewski, earning a split decision win in what was a highly entertaining bout on the UFC 145 prelims. A submission loss to Matt Riddle was overturned to a no contest via Riddle's failed drug test, but it was fairly clear that he was on his way to a decision defeat.
"Wonderboy" won MMA fans over with his beautiful head kick KO of Dan Stittgen at UFC 143, and the UFC wasted no time in propelling him to a bigger fight against the (then struggling) Matt Brown at UFC 145. Brown brought Thompson back down to Earth and exposed his deficiencies on the ground, and took home the decision victory. After some injury setbacks, Thompson returned to action at UFC 160, where he edged out Nah-Shon Burrell and showed a more varied skill set than in his two previous fights.
Why should you care?
Whatever you think of Thompson's future in the UFC, this feels like a fun fight on paper and hopefully it plays out that way.