Stephen Thompson and Kevin Holland engaged in a thrilling stand-up war in the main event of UFC On ESPN 42 this evening, with ‘Wonderboy’ eventually gaining the upperhand in the later rounds with big punches and kicks, leading to ‘Trailblazer’s’ corner waving off the fight at the end of the fourth round.
The welterweight main event is underway in Florida.
Leg kick for Holland. He presses forward and lands a body kick too. Holland bundles into Thompson as he was setting up a kick.
Now Holland drives into the clinch against the cage. They don’t stay there for long though.
Leg kick for Thompson. A punch lands too. Holland into the clinch against the cage again. Holland with a kick, but he eats a big punch from Thompson on the counter.
Side kicks from Holland. Thompson has some blood trickling down from the side of his left eye.
Flurry of punches from Holland and a knee too As Thompson also engages. They separate and exchange again.
Big right hand from Holland wobbles Thompson. Holland going in again with more strikes, but Thompson fires back and just misses with a head kick attempt.
Good straight left for Thompson. Thompson tries a hook kick but doesn’t connect. Thompson steps into a big punch, but Holland takes it well.
Oblique kick for Holland. Now a knee from him to the body. Body kick from Holland. leg kick from Thompson. Body kick for Holland. Holland pressing forward with more strikes as the round ends.
Side kick from Thompson. Head kick from Thompson lands through the guard, but Holland takes it. Thompson crashes forward with a flurry of left and right hands.
Leg kicks for Holland. Thompson lands one of his own. Holland lands a punch and Thompson has a couple of counter punches from him.
High kick from Thompson. Thompson with a flurry now against the cage and eats an elbow. Inside leg kick and then a high kick attempt from Holland. Thompson looking for a head kick too.
Holland tries a side kick upstairs. Holland with a left hand as Thompson goes for a kick.
Holland pushes forward but Thompson lands a punch on the counter. They come in close together and Holland instinctively takes him down, but then lets him back up to big cheers from the crowd.
Side kick to the body from Thompson. Holland lands a punch as they exchange. Holland lands and Thompson slips to the mat for a moment.
Kick and hard punches from Thompson seem to daze Holland for a moment, but he recovers well. Right hand and stepping left from Holland. He lands a body kick and then misses wildly on a big winging punch to end the round. Intense action so far!
Leg kick for Thompson. Holland with a kick to the thigh. Calf kick for Holland. Body kick for him and then down to the leg. Thompson with a leg kick too.
Thompson with a jumping switch kick, but it’s blocked. Holland working to the legs again. Side kick to the body for Holland. Thompson with a leg kick and then a hard left hand, with another following quickly afterwards.
Knee to the body from Holland and then bundles Thompson to the mat. Holland backs up to the feet again.
calf kick for Holland. Flurry from Thompson. Missed punch from Holland and Thompson fires off a quick combo. Side kick to the body from Thompson and then knocks him down with another.
Hard right hand from Thompson. Side kick from Thompson. Now a head kick that landed well, but Holland still taking these shots well.
Elbow strikes from Holland and then into the thai clinch against the cage for a brief spell. Back to striking range and Holland lands a hook and another punch behind it.
Thompson with another combination against the cage and clinches up. He does the same again.
They back up. Left and a right from Holland. Swings and misses from Holland and Thompson backs him up as he comes forward with strikes of his own. Spinning head kick attempt from Thompson at close range.
Body kick for Thompson. Now a right hand. Another spinning head kick attempt that misses the target. One-two for Thompson as the round ends. Not much offense from Holland as the round was coming to a close there and he seems like he’s hurt his right hand as he heads back to his corner.
Leg kick for Thompson. Side kick to the body. Hook kick lands. Missed punches from Holland but gets into the clinch afterwards and there was a clash of heads that leaves Thompson bleeding. Nothing happening in the clinch so the ref breaks them apart.
Kick for Thompson. Nice left hand too. Heavy body kick from Thompson and Holland might have been hurt there, but is doing his best to hide it and tries to go for a takedown. Nothing doing there and they go back to it. Thompson tries to target the body again and Holland goes for the takedown again without success.
In the clinch Thompson threw a punch that was close to the groin and Holland is hurt and some people think the fight is over, but it’s not, it’s a stoppage for the groin strike.
They get back to it and Thompson lands a spinning head kick. Soon after Thompson lands another spinning kick upstairs, but Holland remains upright.
Leg kick for Thompson. He lands the calf kick again. Side kick to the chest. Good left hand and a body kick. Push kick from Holland. Thompson lands more big strikes and Holland is holding on through sheer heart at this stage.
Body kick from Thompson after a leg kick from Holland. Thompson lands a big punch that drops Holland. He follows him to the mat for a little ground and pound but then opts to stand back up.
Holland sits down in the corner and his corner decides to call an end to the fight, and that’s a good decision to protect him as he was clearly compromised from the likely broken right hand and had eaten a troubling amount of powerful punches and kicks to the head and body that would have easily finished a lesser man.
So, Thompson wins by TKO (corner stoppage) at 5.00mins of Rd4 in one of the most exciting striking battles of the year.