Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson Hits Back at Retirement Calls

Stephen Thompson

Getty Stephen Thompson poses during a ceremonial weigh in for UFC 264 at T-Mobile Arena on July 09, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It’s been a tough year for UFC fan-favorite Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, however the top welterweight isn’t going anywhere.

Wonderboy entered 2021 riding an impressive two-fight winning streak, putting on a striking clinic in matches with Geoff Neal and Vicente Luque and defeating both fighters via unanimous decision.

However, Thompson has been on the wrong end of two consecutive unanimous decisions since then. And his last defeat featured Wonderboy being dominated in a way that fans aren’t used to seeing.

First, Wonderboy was beaten by Gilbert Burns in July at UFC 264. And then earlier this month, Thompson was beaten down and controlled by Belal Muhammad for all three rounds at UFC Fight 199. The judges awarded Muhammad multiple 10-8 rounds.

At 38 years old, some fans and analysts have questioned whether it’s time for Wonderboy to hang up his gloves. But, Wonderboy is far from done.

He recently shared a video on his YouTube channel of himself discussing retirement. And Thompson shut down any notion of him walking away from the sport.

“I can’t believe people are saying that I’m old and I should retire,” Thompson said via MMA Junkie. “I feel like people that do retire, when they sit down on the chair, they just feel like they should retire. Like just, their body’s beat up, aches and pains. … When I sit here and I’m sitting down in this chair, I feel great. I feel fine. I feel better than I was five years ago. I just don’t get it.”

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Wonderboy Was In Phenomenal Shape for Muhammad Fight, Potential Rehydration Issue Led to Being ‘Exhausted’

Wonderboy continued, breaking down what he thinks went wrong with the Muhammad fight. Thompson said he entered the Octagon in great physical shape. He also had a good weight cut, however he may have botched his rehydration, which possibly led to him feeling “exhausted” after the first round.

“I lost my fight – got manhandled for three rounds,” Thompson said. “Yeah, man – it was a sucky experience, to be honest with you. I don’t know why this happens, but I had a great camp. Camp was awesome. I was in the greatest shape of my life. (I) was in shape, felt strong, and then things start to kind of get a little weird whenever you’re getting ready to go out. You’re in the back kind of warming up and your legs start to feel tingly. That’s not a good sign.

“My weight cut was great, actually. I got down in weight super fast, way easier than my last one, and weight cut was good. I think maybe it had something to do with my rehydration – not sure. But I felt exhausted, felt super tired right out of the first round. I was tired. I didn’t want to say anything to my coaches or anything that my legs were feeling tingly.”

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Thompson Has Fought in the UFC Since 2012

Wonderboy’s karate style has made him a beloved fighter for years. He has a professional MMA record of 16-6-1, with seven wins coming way by KO/TKO.

He has contended for the UFC welterweight title twice, fighting then-champ Tyron Woodley in 2016 and 2017, but was unable to capture it. He holds notable victories inside the Octagon against Jorge Masvidal, Rory MacDonald and former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.

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