Commitment and hard work are essential in becoming a successful mixed martial artist. This is something many humans see but many fail to give the effort to achieve, much less a three-year-old. Evan Thompson is the exception. When most were learning the basics of living at three years old, Thompson began his Japanese Kempo Karate training. At the age of ten, kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His fifteenth birthday had him entering full contact kickboxing events. One particular fight sticks out that shows the talent that Thompson had at a very young age. In his first fight, Evan was paired against a twenty-nine year old opponent. “I’m 29 years old right now. I look at 15 years old, and can’t imagine how it would be to fight a man my age,” said Thompson. He actually forgot his name when an official asked for it before the fight. This is to be expected, but taking the victory is not usually in the books for a large percentage of society. “I won the fight because I was just faster than he was.”
Evan had to fulfill one of his father’s, Ray Thompson, final rules, and that was to compete in a minimum of 10 amateur fights before being able to turn professional and step into the LFC cage. This was the minimum for earning professional status in the family. “My father made me and my brother into who we are as karate fighters and kickboxers,” said Thompson. Ray Thompson has a tremendous amount of knowledge, and taught his sons and many others before the brothers were even born.
The long road for the mixed martial artist can be difficult at times, but it is made easier when Evan’s brother is Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, a familiar name in the UFC that carries a 3-1 record in the promotion and 8-1 overall. Most recently, he defeated Chris Clements at UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson. “My brother being in the UFC is great,” said Evan. “I love my brother, and he gives me tons of insight. He encourages me to train as hard as I can and always keep practicing new techniques.”
Evan Thompson is now two fights into his professional career and no stranger to the Legacy Fighting Championship cage. His first professional fight was with Legacy FC back in December of 2012. Bobby Moore was his opponent that night and didn’t stand much of a chance against the six-foot three-inch tall Thompson. They had fought on a Legacy Amateur card together, and Thompson had seen what Moore had in his arsenal. “I knew he was aggressive and going to try to secure takedowns like many do,” said Thompson. Moore was able to immediately secure a takedown, but had made a serious error. Thompson is feared in his stand up game, but many forget or do not worry too much about his Jiu-Jitsu background. Evan is a four-stripe purple belt under Professor Carlos Machado, himself a Coral Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Years of knowledge and experience were taught to the young and talented fighter originally from Simpsonville, South Carolina, now fighting out of RCJ Machado Jiu-Jitsu in The Colony. The takedown was the only positive for Moore, and the extreme pressure of Thompson’s striking quickly overwhelmed him. Evan had a dominant position and was landing at will in the first minutes of the fight. Moore verbally tapped, but referee Don Turnage had not heard the call. Evan continued to rain down elbows shortly after the fight was stopped.
RCJ Machado’s star pupil had stiffer competition in his next fight against a strong and tough Angelus McFarlane. Thompson had seen his opponents’ last few fights, and felt he would be able to stand and trade to get his second victory in the LFC. McFarlane immediately went for a takedown and Thompson found himself in full guard for the remainder of the first round. The second round had Thompson tightening up his takedown defense and forcing McFarlane into half and full guard to keep the talented Thompson at bay. The fight ended in a unanimous decision victory for Thompson, but it left a bad taste in his mouth. “I’m not proud of that fight, because it wasn’t exciting,” said Evan. “I like fights and the exchange of punches and kicks. Since then, I’ve worked harder on cage defense and half guard escapes.”
Evan’s next opponent is Edgar Verdin, and he is looking forward to putting on a great show for the LFC fans. “He’s a strong guy and has good stand up. I feel confident I can take this fight anywhere I want.” Thompson’s next challenge comes at LFC 24, October 11th at the Allen Event Center. He is looking for a victory over a fighter in Verdin that is not afraid to mix it up and is skilled with both his hands and legs. Thompson can’t wait for next month’s opportunity to step back into the LFC cage and showcase his talents to the MMA fans of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. “Fighting for Legacy is awesome. Mick, Andrea, Collin and their team have done an amazing job with the promotion.” Evan fought with the promotion in its beginnings, and is in awe of what the LFC has accomplished since.
“Legacy puts on some amazing shows, and I’m looking forward to a great fight October 11th. I would like to thank the LFC; my coaches Ray Thompson, Carlos Machado, Marc Botindari and Todd Knickman; my sponsors Mark Corwin from My Fit Foods in Frisco, Family Wise Healthcare, Ernest Arnesan with TBRC Roofing, and Genesispure.com/thetitan.”
(Images by Shannon Skloss.)