Stephen Thompson got back on the winning trail at UFC 244 with a striking masterclass against Vicente Luque.
Amidst the chaos that was the UFC 244 main event, with Nate Diaz’s positive-then-not-positive drug test, and the weigh-in controversy between of the co-main event, a fantastic pairing between Stephen Thompson and Vicente Luque seemed almost forgotten. But at the New York PPV event on Saturday, the pair were set to remind fans just why they were two of the biggest names in the welterweight division.
Thompson, otherwise known as ‘Wonderboy,’ entered the night on the first losing streak of his career, having dropped his last two fights. Luque, meanwhile, was a rising star in the division, winner of six straight. He was getting a solid step up in competition Saturday night, however. A test that would show whether he was ready for the top ten of the division.
Luque opened up with multiple leg kicks, attacking the front leg of Wonderboy. Thompson responded back with a leg kick of his own, but it was only one compared to the loads that Luque was landing. Eventually, Thompson switched stances, but it didn’t stop Luque’s attacks. Luque tagged Thompson with a right hand, a preview of things to come. With two minutes left in the round, Luque landed a massive combination that appeared to stun Thompson up against the fence then threw some hammers at Thompson. However, Thompson seemed to recover and tagged Luque with some right hands of his own near the end of the first.
Luque opened up with more kicks to open the second, but Thompson was starting to find his rhythm. Throwing head kicks, landing many straights, but Luque kept moving forward and looking for his powerful right hand. Thompson went up with a left head kick that dropped Luque, as he got up Thompson unleashed a flurry and really hurt him. Luque fought back enough to get Thompson off, and might’ve hurt him as well. However, Thompson continued to land a lot of straight rights and lefts, he completely found his groove in the second round. Going into the third round, Luque’s face was badly bloodied.
Thompson landed a push kick that dropped Luque to open round three, Luque stood up only to get dropped again with a straight left. Luque was hurt badly, and Thompson followed up with big ground and pound, however, Luque recovered. Luque tagged Thompson a few times in the final frame, however, Thompson followed up with a large combination in the final minute to badly hurt Luque. The referee gave it a close look, but Luque saw the final bell.
A good first round for Luque, however, once Thompson got going, he wasn’t going to be stopped.
Stephen Thompson def. Vincente Luque by Unanimous Decision (30-26 x2, 29-27)