We're very lucky that my dad was one of those 'karate guys' who was very open-minded and saw the value in cross-training."It's not like one way is the only way. A longtime sparring partner of former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, Stephen now trains regularly with middleweight standout Chris Weidman, whose younger sister is engaged to Thompson's brother, Tony. And whether I make it or not, I'll know I've competed with the best.
Combined with his father's expertise in the stand-up game and the time-tested efficiency of Machado jiu-jitsu, Thompson has all the tools to challenge for UFC gold.
I'm definitely demanding that title shot after that." Thompson has always been a respectful, low-drama guy, not one for trash talk or bad blood scenarios, but with so many fighters demonstrating that making noise and demanding fights really does work, he's come to terms with the fact that he'll need to dial up the intensity a few more notches with his callout, in the event that he wins.
"Stephen was like nine when he was first introduced to Brazilian jiu-jitsu. You'll never get bored."To prepare for a career in the Octagon, Thompson sought out the best in the world.
My brother ended up marrying Chris Weidman's sister a few weeks ago.
They had the big wedding that pretty much had everybody from Long Island down in Simpsonville, SC. We had a great time." Stephen went on to detail how the two met: "It wasn't until I was out there for the Lyoto Machida camp that my brother Tony asked to come up and hang out with us. Bring him in.' I didn't even know Chris had a sister at that time.
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There's a moment in a fighter's life when he knows he's got it.
With a win over Mac Donald tonight, Thompson says he'll not only call for his shot at the belt, he plans to do it with a level of intensity we've yet to see from him.