STEPHEN THOMPSON FIRST PROFESSIONAL FIGHT VS JEREMY JOLES
There was a time that Stephen Thompson aka Wonderboy, was not a fixture of the UFC’s welterweight division. A relatively late bloomer in terms of mixed martial arts. Thompson was a multiple-time world champion in karate before deciding to make the switch. Making his debut at the age of twenty-seven against Jeremy Joles just back in 2010.
And ever since joining the UFC two years later, the elite lever striker has never looked back. Quickly moving up the ranks and finding himself in or around the top five and ten of the division ever since. But with two bites of the cherry both in 2016 and 2017 not bearing any fruit. What is next for the now thirty-seven-year-old?
Does he have another run at the 170 lb title in his tank? Or is he, like so many other fighters of that age on the back end of his career?
Well, for now, let’s look back at some old school Wonderboy. As he steps into the cage for the very first time to give the world a taste of what we should expect. Granted he is in against a relatively inexperienced fighter in Jeremy Joles. Who with six amateur MMA fights is also making his professional debut.
Thompson vs Joles Round One
Thompson assumes his traditional karate stance, as he bounces back and forth. It’s the style which we would see him refine throughout his time inside the cage. But here he is still very much a fighter who is green in MMA terms. But opening up Stephen tries to land a hook kick to the head of Joles which catches him somewhat off guard.
As Thompson marches forward landing strikes, Jeremy covers up and manages to shoot in for the clinch. The pair begin to exchange knees and punches in close, with Thompson looking to take the wind of his opponents sails. And as they separate, you can tell he has already inflicted a degree of damage.
As again Stephen Thompson lands another hook kick, staggering Joles backward. Before following up and once again sending Jeremy to the ground with a barrage of punches. And Joles is looking increasingly worried, as well as gassed. With Thompson’s continuous pressure forcing him on to the backfoot.
And it is Stephen Thompson who continues to push forward, once again looking for that hook kick which misses. But a follow-up kick to the head lands and forces Joles to shoot in and bring the fight to the ground, good idea. And this is where Wonderboy begins to look uncomfortable. After all, having built an entire career based on standup striking, the ground is not his world.
With Joles gaining top position, he manages to control his opponent. Landing some strikes, but not doing any real damage. In a sequence that plays out for the remainder of the round.
Round two begins and Joles looks like he is gasping for air. And the gameplan it now seems is to circle away to the left and try to avoid another hook kick. But don’t forget the other side too Jeremy! With Thompson just missing with a right high kick. In a move that draws jeers from the crowd, Joles is now trying to just to keep Thompson away.
And its really now a case of predator and prey, as Stephen is just stalking Joles around the cage. With one man constantly on the back foot, while the other is looking for ways to finish the fight. And that he does, as Wonderboy lands a right kick that clips Joles on the jaw. Sending him staggering forward and to the ground.
With the referee jumping in to save him from any further punishment. A beautiful finish from the future top contender in the 170 lb division of the UFC.