Stephen Thompson had his first chance since a pair of fights for the welterweight title to prove he’s worthy of another crack.But with a mostly dominant unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC), Thompson (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) had to admit the performance wasn’t his best – but that he’ll keep striving to get another shot at champ Tyron Woodley. “Wonderboy” won with a pair of 30-27 scores and a 30-26.
The welterweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC 217 event at Madison Square Garden in New York. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Thompson took the center and pushed Masvidal to the outside. Thompson kicked high 50 seconds in, but had it blocked. Thompson continued to work hard-to-track kicks from his karate stance. Midway through, Thompson got inside for a pair of punches. Thompson landed to the body, but Masvidal landed one of his own not long after. With 90 seconds left, Thompson landed a side kick that planted Masvidal on his butt. He jumped up and instantly was more aggressive. A straight left was on the money for Hendricks with 25 seconds left.
Thompson landed a high kick 30 seconds into the second round, but Masvidal mixed things up and staggered Thompson with a combo. About 100 seconds in, Masvidal got planted by a Thompson punch, but didn’t want to wait on the ground. Thompson was content letting Masvidal try to chase him down and constantly circled side to side. With less than a minute left, Masvidal clipped Thompson, but he wasn’t in enough trouble for things to be urgent.
A minute into the third, Thompson landed a 1-2 combination. Ninety seconds in, Thompson threw a solid spinning kick that was just off the mark. Jorge Masvidal tried to fight with urgency, but Thompson wasn’t often there to get hit. At the end of the fight, Thompson caught a Masvidal kick and took him to the canvas, then helped Masvidal up with a smile.
Thompson got back in the win column after a majority draw with Woodley and majority decision loss to him in back-to-back title fights. Jorge Masvidal lost for the second straight time.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 217 results include:
- Stephen Thompson def. Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Paulo Costa def. Johny Hendricks via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:23
- James Vick def. Joseph Duffy via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:59
- Mark Godbeer def. Walt Harris via disqualification (illegal kick) – Round 1, 4:29
- Ovince Saint Preux def. Corey Anderson via knockout (head kick) – Round 3, 1:25
- Randy Brown def. Mickey Gall via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
- Curtis Blaydes def. Aleksei Oleinik via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 2, 1:56
- Ricardo Ramos def. Aiemann Zahabi via knockout (spinning back elbow) – Round 3, 1:58
(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan, Mike Bohn, Ken Hathaway and Abbey Subhan contributed to this report.
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