Stephen “Wonder Boy” Thompson used flawless striking to put away former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks in just over three minutes into the opening frame at UFC Fight Night 82.
Hendricks had an early opportunity to take Thompson, but failed, boosting Thompson’s confidence. He never got another opportunity.
Thompson peppered Hendricks with several impressive kicks and strikes, forcing John McCarthy to stop the bout.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Mike Pyle and Sean Spencer earned Fight-of-the-Night while Thompson and Diego Rivas earned Performances-of-the-Night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.
Cassie Wiseman checks in with her thoughts on the main card:
TSN MAIN CARD
MIKE PYLE VS SEAN SPENCER
ANDREWS PREDICTION: SEAN SPENCER VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
WINNER: MIKE PYLE VIA TKO R3 4:20
Wiseman: Pyle has shown himself to be a beast on the mat, but going against a Golden Gloves opponent seemed to tip the scale in Spencer’s favor. However, tonight Pyle showed that his experience and precision with spinning back elbow, mixing up takedowns, etc. was able to give him the TKO finish. More diversity allowed him to shine when he needed it. Big performance by Pyle.
MISHA CIRKUNOV VS ALEX NICHOLSON
WINNER: MISHA CIRKUNOV VIA SUBMISSION R2 1:28
ANDREWS PREDICTION: MISHA CIRKUNOV VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: Cirkunov was just too much for the inexperienced Nicholson. The striking of Cirkunov gave him the immediate advantage, as well as in the grappling exchanges. The power inside the clinch game gave The Spartan a run for his money, and in the second round, Cirkunov combined his grappling with his powerful striking to break the jaw of Nicholson. A complete performance by Cirkunov.
#1 JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VS #8 ZACH MAKOVSKY
WINNER: JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: The striking of Benavidez was too much tonight. The wrestling of Zach was great, but not being able to do anything with it other than 2-second takedowns didn’t help him. Switching stances mid-combination and takedown defense allowed Benavidez to put on a show for the decision win.
#6 OVINCE ST. PREUX VS #13 RAFAEL CAVALCANTE
WINNER: OVINCE ST. PREUX VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: OVINCE ST. PREUX VIA TKO
Wiseman: While OSP hurt his foot in the first round, he bounced back in the second round to his regular movement. The problem? Cavalcante didn’t show any desire to win. He didn’t take risks when OSP was obviously hurt, he didn’t try to get off his back, just nothing. Was he hurt too? Who knows, but if he was hoping to make a statement for his career, I’m sure this wasn’t the statement he wanted out there.
#11 ROY NELSON VS #12 JARED ROSHOLT
WINNER: ROY NELSON VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ROY NELSON VIA TKO
Wiseman: Rosholt could have possibly won if he used his wrestling or some kind of game plan. Problem is that he was petrified of Nelson’s power, which prevented him from actually getting anything going. Not an entertaining fight, but Nelson did enough to get the decision win.
#2 JOHNY HENDRICKS VS #8 STEPHEN THOMPSON
WINNER: STEPHEN THOMPSON VIA KO/TKO R1 3:01
ANDREWS PREDICTION: STEPHEN THOMPSON VIA TKO
Wiseman: The perfect game plan when executed can take down anyone. Holly Holm showed this and tonight WonderBoy showed this. WonderBoy made Hendricks look outclassed. A TKO finish in the very first round. Who saw that coming? The perfect plan shown by WonderBoy, his precision, switching stances, kicks, everything was just on point. What a statement made tonight.