Round 1: Whittaker lands a solid jab to start the action. Thompson delivers an inside leg kick. Whittaker moving forward behind his jab. Thompson lands to the body with a kick. Thompson switches stances. He lands a front leg axe kick. Whittaker inches forward. Thompson moves away. Whittaker picks up the pace. Thompson moving in and out. He lands a front leg side kick to the body followed by a combination. Thompson lands to the body with a right hand. Whittaker moves in with a right hand. Thompson answers with a left. Thompson mixing it up well. He lands a right right hand that drops Whittaker. Whittaker gets to his feet but is hurt. Thompson drops him again. Thompson follows Whittaker to the canvas and finishes with a series of strikes.
The official time of the technical knockout was 3:43 of the opening round.
“I can’t even describe how good I feel right now. Whittaker is a very tough opponent so I was careful to stay away from his power and use my speed. I’ve got great instructors and coaches and my ground game is improving quickly. I’m still a striker at heart though so naturally that’s where I want the fight to take place. I’m a fighter which means I will fight anyone at any place any time the UFC wants me to. I’m ready for whatever they have lined up next for me.”
“I was focused on the game plan but Stephen is a tough guy. He has a good striking skills, that were showing tonight at the octagon. I tried to show up in the best shape, but it was not enough. I learned a lot from this loss and I’m going to use every bit of it in training for the next one.”