Stephen Thompson suffered a devastating knockout loss in the main event of UFC on ESPN+6 in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday, March 23. “Wonderboy” was controlling the fight against former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis when “Showtime” pulled off one of his flashy moves and landed a clean Superman punch off of the cage. Thompson was immediately unconscious as he fell to the mat.
Recovering from knockout losses of that nature can be difficult for a lot of mixed martial artists, especially when it is the first of your career.
As a kickboxer, Thompson had a perfect record of 58-0. He then entered his fight against Pettis with a 14-3-1 record with his only losses by decision. That’s an impressive feat, especially when he faced the likes of middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, former welterweight champ John Hendricks, former titleholder Tyron Woodley (twice), Jorge Masvidal, and Darren Till.
So when it was time to respond to the knockout loss, people were wondering how Thompson would take it.
Let’s just say he handled it in the best way possible.
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Hey everyone thank you for all of your prayers and support! Congrats to my man @showtimepettis ! You are a skilled fighter and a legend of the sport. As we all know it’s part of the game but it’s not always about how we win, it’s about what we learn from our losses that makes us better fighters and people. I will be back! Boyaahhh!!! #UFCNashville @ufc
“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.”
Kudos to Thompson for handling the loss like a champion. And when you compare his reaction to the knockout loss to some other prominent KO losses in recent memory, things get even better.
The full results from UFC Nashville and video of Pettis’ highlight reel finish can be seen by clicking the link below.