Ahead of UFC Orlando, Stephen Thompson got to meet the man behind his walkout track, Wonderboy — Tenacious D’s Jack Black.
Thompson (16-6-1) also sports “Wonderboy” as his nickname, and had the chance to hang out with actor and Tenacious D frontman Black back in October. In fact, Black was going to walk Thompson out to the octagon at UFC Orlando this Saturday, though a scheduling conflict saw that fall through at the last minute.
“It was gonna happen. He was on tour, he told me he was going to be able to make it out, but then he realized he wasn’t going to be able to. He hit me up a few days ago, was like ‘hey I’m not going to be able to make it out, but I’ll be watching you from California,'” Thompson recalled during this week’s media day promoting the Orlando card.
Regardless of the walkout not happening, “it’s just really cool to be able to meet one of my all-time greatest actors and musicians,” said Thompson. And there won’t be any hard feelings or change in entrance music because of the plan not coming to fruition. “I will always and forever be walking out to Wonderboy by Tenacious D.”
Getting to meet Black was a chance to both spend time with an artist he admires, and to get to have Black show he’s a fan of Thompson himself. “Dude. It was awesome,” the two-time UFC title challenger said of the experience. “We were out there in Wilmington, North Carolina, went to one of his concerts, and got to literally hang out with him throughout the day. And how you see him in the movies is how he is in real life.”
His reaction? “I’m literally hanging out with Kung-Fu Panda right now. This is crazy,” Thompson remembered. “So him and my brother — he made it like we knew him for years. He treated us very nicely. It was cool.”
This weekend, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson meets Kevin Holland, in a fight that has fans excited for its knockout potential. Thompson himself appears equally excited.
“100%. My last two fights have been against some heavy grapplers, so— this guy did really good in the 185 division, he’s come down to the 170, he’s doing good there. Even though he’s not ranked, he’s well-known, he’s exciting, he’s tall. He’s got that 81 inch reach that’s going to be fun to navigate Saturday. This has got excitement all over it.”
All of that means that for Thompson, “waking up for this fight has definitely got a smile on my face for sure,” he stated. “Because I know the fans are gonna be excited about it, the UFC is gonna be excited about it. And have you seen Kevin Holland fight? He’s exciting. He likes to talk out there.”
Thompson has had sparring partners talking to him during training to prepare for Holland’s well-known banter during fights. Though he doesn’t expect “hate or anything.”
“It’s just gonna be a fun one, and I’m honored to be able to go out there and share the octagon with him.”
Stephen Thompson faces Kevin Holland at UFC Orlando this Saturday, December 3, 2022. The card airs live on ESPN in the U.S.