It’s fair to say Sean O’Malley was impressed by the performance of Stephen Thompson.
Thompson made it two wins in a row after completely outclassing rising welterweight Geoff Neal over five rounds in the UFC Vegas 17 headliner earlier this month.
It was all the more impressive given that “Wonderboy” is, deceptively, 37 years of age as the former title challenger put himself right back into championship contention.
And UFC bantamweight O’Malley — who like Thompson, is also known for his striking — could only heap praise on him.
“Dude, how impressive was Thompson?” O’Malley asked podcast co-host Tim Welch. “37 years old, 25 minute rounds [fight], fighting a dangerous, dangerous striker in Geoffrey.”
Welch would note how Thompson always kept his hands down but that his footwork and distance management allowed him to do that and evade strikes in the process.
That is something O’Malley was observing during the fight.
“Oh yeah, I was studying that. I was watching that close too,” O’Malley said. “We move similar up against the fence where it’s back and forth. If he gets into a situation where he can’t go left or right, he’ll go forward. Throw a three-piece and circle out. It’s nice, dude.”
When Welch later speculated that Thompson was probably the worst welterweight to face, O’Malley was in complete agreement.
“Dude, are you kidding me? You can’t hit him and you can’t take him down,” O’Malley added. “And he’s long and big. It’s like what the fuck?”
Not that this wasn’t known already. Former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley repeatedly spoke of how difficult a puzzle “Wonderboy” was to solve when he fought him twice.
And going by his performance against Neal, it looks like Thompson still has plenty left in the tank.
You can watch the full podcast below: