UFC 143 Results: What We Learned from Stephen Thompson vs. Dan Stittgen
In a battle of two fighters making their UFC debuts, former kickboxer Stephen Thompson (6-0) had little trouble in knocking out Dan Stittgen (7-2) with a right roundhouse head-kick in the very first round.
Before entering the UFC, Thompson acquired a 57-0 kickboxing record, with 50 knockouts.
What we'll remember from this fight:
It's a common saying that the strike that hurts most is the one you don't see. In this case, it was the kick and it had a devastating result.
It's a leading candidate for undercard knockout of the year, and the way in which the kick was set up was definitely something to remember.
Thompson was able to set up the kick with a jab: something that is rarely seen from most strikers, especially in the welterweight division.
What we learned about Stephen Thompson:
Heading into the fight, the hype behind Thompson was well-deserved, but nobody really knew how well his karate style would translate into MMA. The only thing we had to base it on was other karate oriented fighters, and Thompson went untested for the most part.
"No words can really describe it," Thompson said in the post-fight interview. "This is the real deal. I'm glad to be here."
"If you develop them, they can pack a lot of power and people don't see them," Thompson continued.
What we learned about Dan Stittgen:
Stittgen was the superior grappler going into the fight, but it didn't matter in the end, as he didn't even attempt to take the fight to the ground. He spent all four minutes and 13 seconds of the fight standing and trading with his opponent.
If anything, it showed he might have been too overconfident in his stand-up, and shouldn't have been reluctant to take the fight down to the mat, where he had the advantage.
What's next for Thompson:
Thompson is still inexperienced when it comes to MMA competition, and a fight versus someone who has less than 10 bouts should be next for him.
A fight versus Lance Benoist, who is 6-0, is a suitable fight for the 28-year-old.
What's next for Stittgen:
A fight versus Ricardo Funch, who is 1-3 in his last four, makes sense for Stittgen. Both are in need of a victory and are coming off losses.
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