Exclusive with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson: “Demian Maia doesn’t make the decisions, the UFC do!”

We got the chance to catch up with UFC 205 Welterweight title challenger, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson following his majority draw with Tyron Woodley.
What was the atmosphere like walking out into MSG, after all of the hype and build up?
It was like no other experience I’ve ever had before, It was VERY electric!! The crowd was almost deafening!! It was probably the most scared I’ve ever been too. Just knowing the size of the crowd that was actually in MSG and all the viewers that were watching around the world, well it can be a bit intimidating.
A lot has been made about your kickboxing record, when did you decide on a move to MMA?
The first time I was asked by Firas Zahabi to come up and help GSP prepare for his fight with John Fitch. Not sure why he asked me to help him prepare for Fitch, being that he is a wrestler but we didn’t ask questions!! I came up for several more camps after that. Whilst training there I learned lots of MMA technique and felt in order for me to be an effective training partner I’d need to learn even more. After that it wasn’t long until we entertained the thought of competing in MMA ourselves, so the rest is history.

When Bruce Buffer announced the fight was a split decision win for Woodley, what was going through your mind? 
I knew it was close but I felt that I’d won rounds two, three and five. It was no secret he won rounds one and four. I was definitely disappointed that I didn’t win the title but was really surprised when Bruce announced Tyron as the winner after hearing the scores!!
How did you survive that fourth round?
It’s most certainly the toughest round I’ve ever been through but the choke wasn’t as bad as it looked. I told myself that my kids (students) were not going to see me tap/quit like that!! Now that’s not to say that I wouldn’t tap. If the right submission was applied like a joint lock then I’m tapping!! I’ve already had too many surgeries as it is, I sure don’t want any more!!
Do you think the UFC will grant a rematch?
Dana said that we were going to do a rematch so I’m hopeful he will follow through with it!!! Tyron and I proved how tough we both are and nothing else. We can’t let it end with that!!
What do you make of Damian Maia’s claims that he is next for a title shot?
My last recollection is the UFC makes that decision.
Will you prepare any differently for another fight with Tyron?
I’m definitely not giving out any information on that at the moment!
You were given the key to the city of Simpsonville. How does this rank in terms of what you’ve achieved?
That for me is way up the list of achievements!! When your community thinks that much of you, it does something for deep inside. It’s hard to describe!!
Where will Wonderboy be in five years time? 
Well hopefully still at Upstate Karate running classes and possibly the business with my younger brother, Tony. Also currently looking towards some modeling and movie gigs so I never know where that might take me.

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