UFC 165 had just one welterweight fight on the card, but it was projected to be a good one between Stephen Thompson and Chris Clements.
This one was expected to be a striking showcase for two knockout artists, and the array of spinning kicks was immediately on display in the opening 2 minutes. Clements even knocked Thompson off balance with a wheel kick to his right leg. Thompson scored a brief takedown but Clements stood back up. Thompson used his length to fire away a jab and a left hand in the middle of the round, and he finished the 1st with a takedown as well as full mount.
Clements was dropped early in the 2nd round with left-right-left combo, but Thompson was unable to get the finish on the ground and they returned to the stand-up game. It didn't last long, as Thompson fired away two right hands and then one final left to send Clements crashing against the cage, forcing John McCarthy to stop the fight.
Official Result: Stephen Thompson def. Chris Clements via KO (punches) at 1:27 of round 2.
What was the high point of the fight?
The whole of the 2nd round. Thompson used great precision on his punches and Clements had just about no chance to steer things in his favor.
Where do these two go from here?
Thompson (8-1) has won 2 straight after the sub-par showing vs. Matt Brown, who has obviously turned into a legitimate top 10 fighter. I think they match him up with another tall, lanky striker like Hyun Gyu Lim.
Clements (11-5, 1 NC) is 37 years old and his only UFC win in three tries is against Keith Wisniewski, who is 0-4 in the UFC. This was his first bout in over a year and after a decent first few minutes he looked completely overwhelmed. He's fun to watch but will the UFC see any value in keeping him around beyond that? I'm not so sure. If he does get another fight in the organization it will be a classic "pink slip" matchup.
Watch now, later, or never?
Now. Thompson's grappling looked improved and the 2nd round was an absolute clinic by "Wonderboy".