Stephen Thompson’s spinning kicks and lethal combination strikes against Johny Hendricks on Saturday at Fight Night Las Vegas highlighted a perfect fight on the biggest stage of Thompson’s career.
That stage may continue to grow, as Thompson climbed five spots in Monday’s official UFC Rankings release and directly into the conversation of potential challengers to Robbie Lawler’s welterweight belt.
“Wonderboy’s” first-round KO of Hendricks moved him past Carlos Condit and to No. 3 among 170-pounders, behind only Tyron Woodley and Rory MacDonald. He holds a six-fight win streak and five of his seven UFC victories have come via KO/TKO.
More from Fight Night Las Vegas: Full results | Post-fight bonuses | Thompson pounces on Hendricks for victory | Nelson, Saint Preux and Benavidez wins take time | Gall gets job done to set up CM Punk clash | Burkman, Lewis among prelim winners | Backstage interviews: Stephen Thompson, CM Punk, Ovince Saint Preux, Joseph Benavidez, Misha Cirkunov, Diego Rivas | Octagon interviews: Stephen Thompson and Johny Hendricks, Mickey Gall | Watch: Post-fight press conference highlights
Hendricks falls to fifth after the loss. Russian sensation Albert Tumenov makes his debut on the list at No. 14.
Also debuting in the rankings is Justin Scoggins, whose unanimous decision victory over Ray Borg at Fight Night Las Vegas on Satuday earns him the 12th spot among flyweights.
In his second week of eligibility, Anderson Silva has climbed three more spots and now sits just one place behind his next opponent, Michael Bisping, at No. 7 in the midddleweight division.
Lawler slipped two spots in the pound-for-pound rankings to No. 6 while lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos moved to fourth. Ronda Rousey once again finds herself off the pound-for-pound list after being replaced by Frankie Edgar.
Jon Gagnon is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com. Find him on Twitter at @jgagnonUFC