Stephen Thompson started training Kempō Karate at the age of three. In fact, all of his brothers and sisters did. That's what happens when your dad is Ray Thompson, 7th degree Kempō black belt. He started competing in kickboxing in his teens and went undefeated as both an amateur and professional.
In 2010 he made the move to MMA with a second round stoppage and went on to a 6-0 start. He dropped a gritty decision to Matt Brown, the first loss of his entire combat sports career. He recovered well and began training with Chris Weidman to shore up his wrestling and grow more comfortable with his counter-wrestling game. He was also one of Chris’ primary sparring partners emulating the speed and variety of Anderson Silva’s striking for both fights.