Stephen Thompson Biography

Stephen Thompson is an American mixed martial artist, karateka, and model who currently competes in the welterweight division for the UFC. With a background in American kickboxing and Tetsushin-ryū Kempo, jiu-jitsu, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Thompson has become known as one of the best strikers in the UFC. He has won multiple awards, including UFC Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night, and Performance of the Night. In addition to his successful MMA career, Thompson has also ventured into modeling, signing with IMG Models and appearing in the popular Netflix series Cobra Kai. He has gained recognition in the martial arts community through brand endorsements and features in prestigious martial arts magazines.

Quick Facts

  • Nick Name: Wonderboy
  • Also Known As: Stephen Randall Thompson
  • Age: 40 Years, 40 Year Old Males
  • Family: father – Ray Thompson, siblings – Evan Thompson, Lindsay Thompson, Tony Thompson
  • Born Country: United States
  • Mixed Martial Artists
  • American Men
  • Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), 6’0″ Males
  • U.S. State: South Carolina

Early Life, Education, & Career

Stephen Thompson was born Stephen Randall Thompson, in Simpsonville, South Carolina, US, on February 11, 1983. His father, Ray Thompson, was a professional kickboxer and the owner of the Simpsonville karate school named Upstate Karate.

Thompson grew up with his 2 sisters and 2 brothers. He was 3 when he started his training under his father. By 15, he began participating in kickboxing and karate competitions. He later earned black belts in American kickboxing, Tetsushin-ryū Kempo, and Jiu-jitsu. Thompson also studied Brazilian Jiu-jitsu under his brother-in-law, Carlos Machado.

Thompson scored a kickboxing record of 58-0, with 16 championship wins between 1999 and 2005. He later gradually stepped into MMA, making his debut at Fight Party: Greenville Kage Fighting against Jeremy Joles, in 2010. He won the match in round 2 via TKO (punches) and then won his next 4 fights in Fight Party. In 2012, he joined the UFC.

UFC Career

Stephen Thompson, known as Wonderboy by now, made his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut on February 4, 2012, at UFC 143, against Dan Stittgen, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He defeated Stittgen in round 1, via KO (head kick) and bagged the Knockout of the Night bonus.

Thompson’s next bout was against Matt Brown, on April 21, 2012, at UFC 145. Brown made use of his grappling ability to counter Thompson’s kickboxing skills and defeated him via a unanimous decision. This was Thompson’s 1st loss in MMA.

Thompson, however, bounced back with a 5-fight winning streak, with 4 of those wins coming through KO/TKO. He then fought against Johny Hendricks, on February 6, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 82: Hendricks vs. Thompson. Thompson won the match, tagged as the Performance of the Night, by TKO (punches).

Thompson then defeated Canadian MMA fighter Rory MacDonald and earned a title shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship match against Tyron Woodley, at UFC 205. His fight against Woodley, on November 12, 2016, ended in a majority draw. Following this, they rematched at UFC 209, on March 4, 2017. Thompson eventually lost via a majority decision.

Stephen Thompson then won against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217 in November that year. Thompson, however, lost his next 2 fights, against Darren Till and Anthony Pettis. He then defeated Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal through unanimous decisions, but lost to Brazilian MMA fighter Gilbert Burns at UFC 264 on July 10, 2021.

He lost his next match too, fighting against Belal Muhammad at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Daukaus in December 2021. In December 2022, he won against Kevin Holland by TKO and won the Fight of the Night honor.

His many accolades gained throughout his career include his first rank in Chuck Norris‘s World Combat League in 2006. He has also been featured in various top-notch magazines, such as Martial Arts Digest, Fighter, and MMA Authority. He has also performed along with his father in the Athletes Project at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts.

His MMA career saw him win the UFC Fight of the Night thrice (versus Tyron Woodley, Vicente Luque, and Kevin Holland). He won the Knockout of the Night once, versus Dan Stittgen, and the Performance of the Night 4 times, versus Robert Whittaker, Jake Ellenberger, Johny Hendricks, and Geoff Neal. He is currently ranked at number 5 in the UFC welterweight division.

Other Interests

In 2017, Stephen Thompson signed a deal with global modeling agency IMG Models. He has also endorsed various brands, such as G Fuel, Octagon Orange, The Protein Pizza, and Strike Force Energy, throughout his career. In 2022, he stepped into acting, playing the role of Sensei Morozov in a couple of episodes of the 5th season of the Netflix martial arts comedy drama series Cobra Kai.

Personal Life

Stephen Thompson is apparently single. Not much is known about his personal life. Earlier, he was rumored to be dating Red Dela Cruz, a UFC Ring Girl. They were spotted together at several events, too. However, they never spoke about their alleged relationship publicly and drifted apart after a few weeks.

Thompson’s sister is married to former Brazilian Jiu-jitsu world master’s champion, Carlos Machado. Thompson’s brother, Tony, is married to fellow MMA fighter Chris Weidman’s sister.

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