Stephen Thompson upset Johny Hendricks tonight at UFC Fight Night 82 with a terrific display of striking that lead to a first round TKO finish.
The main event of the evening is underway. Thompson in his familar sideways stance twitching his front leg thinking about a kick. He throws a high kick out there early.
Hendricks moves in quickly with a few punches setting up a clinch attempt. He’s looking for his first takedown attempt. Thompson does well to stay on hi feet and then gets a chance to break free.
Solid side kick for Thompson. Then he goes upstairs with a kick that catches Hendricks by surprise, but only glances his head.
Now Thompson is letting fly with a few punches and they land cleanly. Hendricks has to respect his opponent’s striking, but he’s still pressing forward.
Head kick attempt again from Thompson. Another punch too. Thompson’s settled into this fight nicely, while Hendricks has yet to land much that’s meaningful so far.
Hendricks covers up as Thompson comes forward with kicks and a punch. Thompson connects with a right hand, then another another even harder behind it. That might have dazed the former champion a bit and Thompson senses it, moving forward with renewed urgency.
He throws a right kick upstairs that’s blocked. Right hand for Thompson and then a spinning kick to the upper body and Hendricks is definitely wilting here. Thompson unloads with a series of punches and a left hand drops Hendricks. Thompson looks to capitalize and that’s it, the fight is over by TKO with 3.31mins of the first round gone!
What a huge win for Thompson and it’s a massive feather in his cap to not only finish the former champion with strikes, but also to do so in relatively short order. He’s calling for a title shot now and that’s the kind of performance you need to make it become a reality.