Stephen Thompson has broken down his recent welterweight matchup against Kevin Holland. 'Wonderboy' defeated Holland via fourth-round TKO in a thrilling back-and-forth fight on December 3rd. That said, Holland's powerful right hand had Thompson in trouble in round one.
In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Thompson suggested that he'd planned to fight the orthodox Holland in an open-stance striking showdown and "beat him to the punch." This meant fighting as a southpaw (right foot forward). He aimed to move his head away from Holland's right hand, while throwing his own straight left hand and landing it before Holland's right.
'Wonderboy' acknowledged that when he returned to the orthodox stance, with his left foot forward, Holland caught him with a vicious right hand. Stephen Thompson stated:
"Round one, he ends up smoking me with the right hand because I switched sides. I had my left foot in front. And he ends up smoking me with his right hand. But thank goodness I was blessed with a hard head. I recovered and got right back into the game. Yes, it hurt me, man. I heard my ears start ringing."
Thompson highlighted that it wobbled him a little bit but he managed to recover. He opined that fighting southpaw helped him counter Holland's power threat. 'Wonderboy' said:
"So, I put my right side back forward again in that open stance, and I was flushly landing that left hand. So, I kind of stuck with that a little bit. Threw a little bit of side kicks, found my mark with that left hand."
Thompson explained that he was increasingly successful in the southpaw stance, landing multiple clean left hands on Kevin Holland. 'Wonderboy' indicated that he gradually started throwing a variety of kicks at Holland's right arm, head, and liver -- culminating in 'Trailblazer's' corner throwing in the towel after round four.
Watch Thompson discuss the topic at 3:30 in the video below:
Stephen Thompson outlines his plans after epic victory over Kevin Holland
Later in the aforementioned video, Stephen Thompson emphasized that he aims to capture the UFC welterweight title. He admitted that this would mean facing top-tier grapplers and wrestlers. The 39-year-old striking savant asserted:
"I want to go for the gold. I know that I'm going to be facing off against grapplers and wrestlers, and I'm continuing to practice and get better at that."
Stephen Thompson also expressed interest in fighting strikers such as Conor McGregor and Michel Pereira and putting on entertaining matchups. Furthermore, 'Wonderboy' reiterated that he'd like to fight for the title -- possibly facing reigning UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards or former champion Kamaru Usman, who'll likely clash in a trilogy matchup soon.