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Fight Night 82 Highlights/Results: Thompson Steamrolls Hendricks, Nelson Bests Rosholt, + More

So I guess it’s about time that we start taking Stephen Thompson seriously as a title contender, eh?

Matched up against former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks in the main of event of Saturday’s Fight Night 82, the general consensus seemed to be that “Wonderboy” would ultimately succumb to the wrestling prowess of “Bigg Rigg” as several more talented grapplers had before him. Of course, you can’t exactly outwrestle your opponent if you can’t touch him, and it appeared as if Stephen Thompson was fighting from the future.

Utilizing his trademark karate stance and a level of accuracy that rivaled Anderson Silva‘s UFC debut, Thompson not only tore through Hendricks, he did so almost effortlessly. He stuffed the former champ’s takedowns, beautifully managed his distance, and mixed up his attacks with almost machine-like precision, cracking one of the game’s most lauded chins in the process. Once you take away a man’s steakhouse, you take away his fire, I always say, and Hendricks looked like a man without fire on Saturday. The guy with a canon of a left hand just isn’t there anymore, it would seem, and a credit is due to “Wonderboy” for the ease with which he was able to nullify Hendricks.

Fight Night 82 also featured Roy Nelson’s return to the win column, a horrifically broken jaw, and an early contender for “Knockout of the Year,” so check out all the highlights and results after the jump.

In the evening’s co-main event, Roy Nelson defeated Jared Rosholt by unanimous decision. That is the most objectively positive thing you can say about the fight, as well as the only real thing you could take away from it. Roy Nelson continues to be Roy Nelson, in that his fights suck if he doesn’t land an overhand right in the first 7 or so minutes, and Jared Rosholt continues to be the least entertaining fighter in the division.

In fact, Nelson would prefer if we stopped referring to Rosholt as a “fighter” altogether, telling Megan Olivi that “I try to give the fans exactly what they (want). An explosion, a fun fight to watch. It’s just, I didn’t think he was going to run the whole time. I mean, Jared is a great athlete, but he’s not a fighter. And tonight I think I showed that to the UFC world, that he’s a great athlete, but man, when you’ve got a fight, you have to fight.”

Nelson went on to call Rosholt “a track star,” so let’s hope that Joe Silva does the right thing and books Rosholt vs. Starnes in the main event of an upcoming Fight Pass card. Put it in one of those weird Eastern European countries, like Estonia or Latvia — they’ll just be happy to be out of the house.

Over at Uproxx, I sometimes like to try my hand at the fight-picking game. I went 107-56-1 last year and am off to a rough 6-6 start this year thanks to Johny Hendricks and pretty much every undercard fight that happened at Fight Night 82. When making my predictions for the Misha Cirkunov vs. Alex Nicholson, however, I made the following observation:

It’s great that Nicholson made the most out of the weigh-ins for this event, because his octagon debut is going to be both incredibly brief and unmemorable, in that the only thing he will remember from it will be the ride to the hospital.

With that out there, I’d like to now apologize to Alex Nicholson for what in hindsight . Nicholson *will* be able to remember his UFC debut, he’ll be able to remember it well, because Alex Nicholson was not lucky enough to merely be separated from his conscious like most of Cirkunov’s past opponents. No, he had his jaw cranked until it broke.

While he was awake.

So again, my apologies Alex. Let’s hope that proving me wrong served as some solace to you…on your ride to the hospital.

The ease with which Cirkunov fractured his opponent’s jaw served as a doppelganger of sorts to the finish of Diego Rivas vs. Noad Lahat earlier in the night, in that the force with which Rivas flying knee’d Lahat should have broken his jaw in no less than 4 places. Was that too complicated a way of putting that? Who cares, just watch this already.

Main card
Stephen Thompson def. Johny Hendricks via first-round TKO (3:31)
Roy Nelson def. Jared Rosholt via unanimous decision
Ovince St. Preux def. Rafael Cavalcante via unanimous decision
Joseph Benavidez def. Zach Makovsky via unanimous decision
Misha Cirkunov def. Alex Nicholson via rear-naked choke (R2, 1:28)
Mike Pyle def. Sean Spencer via third-round TKO (4:25)

Undercard
Josh Burkman def. K.J. Noons via unanimous decision
Derrick Lewis def. Damian Grabowski via first-round TKO (2:17)
Justin Scoggins def. Ray Borg via unanimous decision
Diego Rivas def. Noad Lahat via second-round KO (0:23)
Mickey Gall def. Mike Jackson via rear-naked choke (R1, 0:45)
Alex White def. Artem Lobov via unanimous decision

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