Thompson: my worst performance

Oli in action.
Oli in action.

Eastbourne heavyweight fighter Oli Thompson is struggling to impress on the world’s largest mixed martial arts stage after a second consecutive defeat, this time to fellow Brit Phil De Fries.

Both Thompson and De Fries only joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) scene last year and, after both failing to win their debuts, were looking to make amends when they came toe-to-toe in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

However, it was Sunderland-born De Fries who got the better of his compatriot, winning via submission in just the second round of the contest.

The duo were scheduled to fight in Birmingham last November but a bicep injury forced Thompson to withdraw.

He recovered in time to make his UFC debut in Australia earlier this year but it was a match to forget for the former British strongman champion as the experienced American Shawn Jordan made easy work of him.

While Thompson’s second opponent was less well-established on the UFC stage than Jordan, he entered the bout boasting an impressive three-year MMA career, winning seven of his eight professional scalps via submission, five of which came by rear naked choke.

That was exactly the method he used to dismiss Thompson, 4:15 into the second round of their clash.

After an uneventful first round, De Fries turned up the power, unleashing a flurry of punches to down Thompson, who was caught after exposing his chin too often.

De Fries, getting into his stride, caught Thompson’s leg to secure a takedown, which was the beginning of the end for the Eastbourne fighter as his opponent sealed the victory with 45 seconds remaining.

Thompson was evidently disappointed with the fight, branding it his ‘worst performance ever’ on his Twitter site and saying he will now take a few days to gather his thoughts.

LEFT: Oli in action