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Midnight Mania! Stephen Thompson graciously reacts to his first-ever knockout loss to Anthony Pettis

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One year ago today — plus or minus a few hours depending on your timezone — Anthony Pettis scored a shocking knockout win over Stephen Thompson. The bout billed as a kickboxing match between traditional martial arts specialist lived up to the hype, as the two strikers brought their best.

Pettis was sharp, digging low kicks to both legs and frequently chopping the leg across the body. However, it was Thompson who was controlling the bout, stinging Pettis with straight punches and bloodying up his face. “Wonderboy” looked to be in firm control and pulling further ahead ... until a perfectly timed Superman punch counter handed Thompson his first-ever knockout loss.

Despite the difficult circumstances, Thompson couldn’t be more gracious in the video above. There’s a reason the Karateka is the semi-official “Nicest MFer,” as Thompson has never been anything but class. Few would handle any loss with jokes. humility, and aplomb, let alone a brutal knockout in a fight they were previously winning.

Since that bout, Thompson successfully returned to the cage with a masterful performance opposite Vicente Luque, ending the Brazilian’s win streak. He’s still in a difficult position to secure another title shot, but “Wonderboy” remains one of the world’s best Welterweights.


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