ATLANTA -- Before the bout happened, Matt Brown said he was more afraid of Stephen Thompson's ground game than his vaunted striking. But on fight night, Brown decided to test the uncharted waters, and came out with a victory as a result.
Brown became the first man to hand "Wonderboy" a defeat in years, earning a unanimous decision win over him at UFC 145 by scores of 30-27, 30-27, 29-27. Thompson had previously won 62 combined amateur kickboxing, pro kickboxing and MMA fights.
Brown got off to a great start in the first, taking Thompson down multiple times and using ground strikes to score points.
The second was way more competitive, as Thompson found a way to keep on his feet for most of the round. He hurt Brown with a combo, and Brown looked like he was in trouble, but not only did he find a way to survive the onslaught, he completely reversed the momentum with a right elbow that floored Thompson. For the last minute of the round, he sliced Thompson with a series of elbows that bloodied his forehead.
Thompson had his moments in the third, but he couldn't stay upright long enough to make it count. Brown got another takedown and trapped him on the ground with a series of strikes that left the decision clear.
Brown improved to 14-11 with his second straight win while Thompson is now 6-1 after suffering his first pro MMA defeat.