The Potential Superstardom Of Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson
Stephen Thompson was able to shock the world at UFC Fight Night 82 by taking out Johny Hendricks with strikes in spectacular form. The MMA community is buzzing and screaming that “Wonderboy” Thompson should get a title shot and be the next to face current welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
Much like former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, Thompson has the marketability and style to make it places in the UFC. With flashy moves and good looks, a fighter can make big strides and make big money in the UFC. Of course performances speak for themselves, but highlight reel finishes help a fighter really stand out to the crowd.
Perhaps it’s the “ninja” aura that Thompson possesses, but fighters are starting to be very aware of Thompson’s stand-up. Even though the fight was short, it seemed that Hendricks wanted to take it to the ground to avoid Thompson’s lethal stand-up. Although the UFC crowds do enjoy a good submission or takedown, it seems that stand-up fighters are always the crowd favorites. If Thompson fights for the championship, he has the marketability to potentially create big PPV numbers. Conor McGregor is a great example of this right now is the current PPV king lately and it is his fighting style, aura and charisma that got him to that point. Although Thompson is not a big trash-talker, his performances have spoken for themselves lately and people are buzzing to see what is the next move that the UFC will make with Thompson.
All it takes is one night to become a superstar. Holly Holm and T.J. Dillashaw are great examples of this when they were underdogs and Holm took out Ronda Rousey and Dillashaw took out Renan Barao. Even though Hendricks wasn’t the current champion, Thompson taking Hendricks out by Tko in the first round puts him on the map now as a big star.
It will be exciting to see what will happen next with Thompson. Hopefully he gets the title shot, but whoever he fights next will be an exciting matchup regardless.