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UFC Fight Night 82 results: Stephen Thompson has star-turning win over Johny Hendricks

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The biggest question going into Saturday's UFC Fight Night 82 welterweight main event between former champion Johny Hendricks and Stephen Thompson was whether "Wonderboy" was ready for a big step up in competition.

After all, Thompson had put together a nice string of wins, but he had never defeated a foe of Hendricks' caliber.

Turns out there was little to worry about. Thompson put in a flawless, star-turning performance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The Simpsonville, S.C., native picked Hendricks apart and finished him via TKO at the 3:31 mark of the opening round.

"I came out here to put on a good show," said Thompson (12-1). "I hope the fans were impressed."

A key moment came early on, when Hendricks landed a left, closed the distance, and shot for a takedown. But Thompson successfully defended it.

More Coverage: UFC Fight Night 82 Results | UFC news

And his confidence grew from there, as he kept Hendricks off-balance with a wide array of kicks. A kick to the body and a right hand to the jaw was followed by a crushing left which dropped Hendricks to the mat. Thompson swarmed him and the fight was called off.

Thompson's six-fight win streak is the longest active streak at 170 pounds in the UFC.

"I knew he'd get me to the cage, try to set me up for the takedown," Thompson said. "I tried to be awkward, throw a lot of kicks, and see what happens. He kept on coming, I knew he'd keep moving forward until he ran into something."

This continued a tough stretch for Hendricks, who lost his title to Robbie Lawler at UFC 171, then had to pull out of a UFC 192 fight against Tyron Woodley when his weight cut went awry.

"I hesitated," said Hendricks (17-4). "Hat's off, he was the better man tonight."