Coming off of his first-ever knockout loss, Stephen Thompson was in as good a mood as one can be.
“Wonderboy” was unavailable to speak to the media about his defeat at the hands of Anthony Pettis in Saturday’s UFC Nashville main event as he was taken to the hospital shortly after. However, the two-time welterweight title challenger later shared a live video on social media to provide an update on his status and address fan comments, all with a smile on his face:
“I’m at the hospital, I just got knocked out,” Thompson said. “I don’t even remember a dang thing. All I just remember is punching him in the face, his nose bleeding, and then I wake up in the back. … But I’m okay, everything’s good.
“Crap happens, you know? It happens, especially when you’re in this sport long enough.”
Thompson, 36, has been competing in karate, kickboxing, and MMA for over 20 years and had never been knocked out before Pettis put him down on Saturday. The fight lasted nearly two rounds with Thompson dominating the majority of the action before being tagged with an incredible Superman punch that immediately robbed him of his consciousness.
He described the maneuver as being “so ninja that I didn’t even see it coming” and took a moment to laugh at the fact that his first KO loss came at the hands of a career lightweight.
“Out of how many years of fighting, I’ve never been knocked out,” Thompson said. “80 fights, I’ve never been knocked out. Why does it have to be this time? Dang it. … I know, I was fighting a 155er and he puts me out. What the heck?”
What Thompson can recall of the fight he remembers winning and it certainly looked like he was up on the scorecards before getting caught. Even given the blank spots in his memory, he tried to piece together how Pettis was able to connect with the finishing punch.
“I was piecing him up with the jab, I was trying to break his arms with the roundhouse kick,” Thompson said. “But the side kicks, I guess I didn’t turn my hip over enough and he drilled me with a right hand. Was it a right hand? Dag gummit.
“And I was sitting there thinking in the first round like his punches were slow. Then he punches me with that, hits me with that.”
Thompson said that he the doctors were checking his head, legs, and toes, and other than some soreness in his jaw he felt fine. If anything, he was ailing more emotionally than physically as he had plenty of friends and family at Bridgestone Arena, and he’s doubtful that if he’ll be medically cleared in time to compete at the upcoming Greenville UFC event in his home state of South Carolina on June 22.
He ended the video by saying that he hoped to be out of the hospital and back at his hotel soon.