GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — For the first time in UFC history, a UFC Fight Night is coming to Greenville.
With Renato Moicano and the “Korean Zombie” headlining, the UFC Fight Night is happening at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena June 22nd. After being knocked out during a UFC fight in Nashville in March, UFC fighter and Simpsonville native Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson says he’ll be watching from the stands.
“This is huge for our town and for the MMA fighters coming up in this community,” Thompson says. “Every day, I see more and more fight fans from this area and I like to think I have something to do with that.”
Thompson is training two or three times a day, six days a week at his father’s karate studio Upstate Karate in Simpsonville to get back in the UFC Octagon. That’s also where he teaches students from all ages year-round, which he says plays a part in his success.
“Whenever I have a stressful fight coming up or I’m thinking about it, you kind of get stressed out through training and things like that, but teaching kind of calms me down.”
Thompson is currently ranked number 7 in his Welterweight class in the UFC and holds a perfect 57-0 kickboxing record, which includes over 40 knockouts and 16 championships. He’s trained with UFC legend Georges St-Pierre and former UFC middleweight Champion Chris Weidman.
His father Ray Thompson is a former professional fighter and serves as Thompson’s trainer. As Thompson trains, together they are also grooming several up and coming UFC fighters including 23-year-old John Sweeney and Carl Reid, who is fighting in August in Dana White’s televised Tuesday night Contender Series.
Thompson says he plans to fight in November at the UFC Fight Night at Madison Square Garden with his eye on a UFC title win.
“I consider myself a young 36 year-old,” he says. “So I’ve got some time. I have a small window to do what i want to do and I’m not giving up on it.”