Stephen Thompson entered the UFC at the beginning of 2012 with a healthy amount of hype. He was one of the most decorated strikers to ever enter the Octagon, with an undefeated kickboxing record of 57-0 and enough black belts in various forms of karate to keep his gi pants up for the rest of his life. Of course, with hype, comes doubts. Thompson’s massive winning streak came from the regional karate and striking shows that are a far cry from the K-1 level striking fight fans hold in high regard. Thompson wasn’t going to be the next Overeem or Hunt, would he?
He made his debut against the outclassed Dan Stittgen at UFC 143 and did exactly what he was supposed to do — knocked out his opponent with spectacular flair. But in his next fight, his hype was derailed slightly by the surging Matt Brown. Was this the end of Wonderboy? Oh no. He took the loss, the only of his career, and got better.
Since that loss four years ago, Wonderboy has been a perfect 6-0, with his most recent win coming against former UFC welterweight champion Johnny Hendricks. It was a dominant and incredibly impressive victory. Now, Wonderboy is staring down the barrel of a man who was a round away from becoming the UFC champion.
The pressure is on, but Wonderboy has consistently delivered in his UFC run. Will Rory MacDonald be the next to add to the highlight reel?