We’ve had some good karate dudes competing in the Octagon over the years – Lyoto Machida and Georges St. Pierre are probably two karateka who have made the most impact – but you can’t leave Stephen “Wonderboy” off any list of ace karate dudes.
Sporting a fifth degree black belt in Kempo Karate (among other styles), Thompson is one hard-assed striker with a creativity to his angles and footwork that few have. Remember when Chris Weidman was taking on Machida? Thompson was brought in as his sparring partner because Thompson could emulate Machida’s style.
On Saturday, Thompson is the inadvertent main event for UFC Fight Night 82 opposite Johny Hendricks, with the two of them taking over as marquee attractions after Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez crapped out (thereby turning the event from UFC 196 to UFC FN 82).
Given both men’s penchant for providing excitement, I’d say they’re up to the task.
Anyway, watch Thompson at work below.