Stephen Thompson is nearly 40 years old, but put forth one of the best performances of his career in the main event of UFC Orlando against Kevin Holland.
What was expected to be a very fun striking match-up capped off a solid night of fights at UFC Orlando in the Amway Center on Saturday night. Veteran Stephen Thompson faced the active and exciting Kevin Holland.
With little thought of grappling ahead of time, fans were hyper-focused on the potential for an explosive finish in the welterweight showdown.
Both men opened the fight with kicks to start the contest. Thompson landed a pair of strong left hands as Holland tried pushing the pace. A two-punch combination connected for Thompson and Holland answered with a knee. Yet another strong left found the mark for Wonderboy. A right hand then cracked Thompson, but he was able to survive and even landed a glancing head kick. Holland held Thompson in the Thai clinch and connected with a series of elbows. The left straight of Thompson connected again and he followed it up with a flurry. Through one round, the main event was living up to its billing.
The first significant strike of the second round was a head kick from Thompson followed by a left straight that started a combination. After some exchanges in the pocket, Thompson went to the left hand into a combination and ended it with a head kick. Kevin Holland brought the fight to the ground as the fighters got tangled up, but stood right back up to continue putting on a show. Holland wobbled Thompson, who snapped back off the fence and landed a wheel kick that rocked Holland. He followed up with a left hand as the round came to a close.
Thompson hit a switch kick in the opening minute of the third round. Holland was able to take Thompson down, but again, let him back up immediately. Thompson really opened up in the third round, mixing in powerful kicks with his combinations. The responses from Holland were fewer and farther between. A furious combo highlighted by a wheel kick battered Holland, who was unfazed. At the end of the round, it became clear that Holland had injured his right hand, which had been his weapon of choice throughout the fight.
A hook kick for Thompson opened the fourth round. Holland pushed forward and a clash of heads cut Thompson open in between the eyes. A brutal liver kick from Thompson swung the fight heavily in his favor. He followed it up with another just as heavy and Holland shot for a pair of takedowns. Thompson stuffed both and the onslaught from Thompson began. Head kicks and punches were landing with no response from Holland. He knocked him down late in the round and nearly caused a stoppage, but Holland was able to survive. However, the hand injury of Holland reared its ugly head, and the corner stopped the fight as a result.
Stephen Thompson def. Kevin Holland by TKO (Corner Stoppage) in Round 4 (5:00)