Despite being 1-2-1 in his last four Octagon appearances, two-time UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson remains one of the most talented fighters at 170 pounds.
The only problem for “Wonderboy” is the fact that he has had to deal with steep welterweight competition like current UFC champion Tyron Woodley and undefeated contender Darren Till. Thompson has held his own and was in position to win both of the fights he lost, but he just wasn’t able to pull it off.
While Thompson’s striking is a huge reason why he’s been so successful in UFC, the 35-year-old still believes he can tweak some things to improve his output, including the way he attacks.
“There’s always something you can work on, but just change some stuff up,” Thompson recently told MMAjunkie. “Work different techniques that I’ve been wanting to work on a whole lot more, than I don’t usually throw when I fight. Just to keep them guessing. My last few losses were controversial. I’ve got to do more. I can’t leave it in the judge’s hands anymore.”
“Sometimes people say, ‘You’ve got to go out there and grit your teeth and just throw,’” he continued. “That’s never been my style, but I think I need to be a little bit more aggressive instead of counterpunching. There are other parts of the game I can go work on to keep my opponent guessing.”
Thompson, who has never been finished in his career, rose the ranks at 170 pounds by outsmarting opponents on the feet. His striking style is one of the most difficult to deal with in mixed martial arts (MMA) today. If “Wonderboy” can pair that with an aggressive state of mind the rest of his game will follow suit.
“I’m definitely going to work on some techniques that hopefully will throw my opponents off and really allow me to open up whenever I’m out there fighting. I’m definitely going to work on my wrestling and jiu-jitsu a little more and you never know,” said Thompson.
“The next fight you may see a little bit more of that. I work it religiously, but when I’m out there fighting I just don’t use it enough. I’ve got to go out there and use some of that. I’m a better, well-rounded fighter than people think.”
The UFC’s welterweight division is absurdly stacked nowadays so Thompson will have to work quick. Luckily for “Wonderboy,” the promotion is going to give him all the opportunities he can handle to right the ship.