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Stephen Thompson knocks out Johny Hendricks in first round at Fight Night

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – Stephen Thompson used a devastating left to complete an impressive first-round knockout against former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and catapult himself into title contention in the main event of UFC’s Fight Night on Saturday night.

Thompson (12-1) controlled the action, landing combinations and kicks that kept Hendricks (17-4) off balance throughout. Thompson was highly accurate and pushed the pace until he landed the left that crumpled Hendricks against the cage. The referee stopped the fight at 3:31 of the first round.

In the co-main event, heavyweight Roy Nelson won a unanimous decision over Jared Rosholt to end a three-fight losing streak. Nelson (22-12) and Rosholt (14-3) stood toe-to-toe for the majority of the fight, with Nelson able to land a number of powerful leg kicks and control the stand up. Three judges scored the bout 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.

On the undercard, top-ranked flyweight Joseph Benavidez reaffirmed that he is still the top contender for the title, looking sharp in a unanimous decision over eighth-ranked Zach Makovsky. Sixth-ranked light heavyweight Ovince Saint Preux grinded out a unanimous decision over Rafael Cavalcante despite injuring his right ankle early in the first round.

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