In the co-main event of UFC Vegas 45 we saw a showdown between top welterweight contenders. Former title challenger Stephen â€˜Wonderboyâ€™ Thompson (16-5-1) returned to take on Belal MuhammadÂ (19-3, 1 NC).
The last time we saw Wonderboy was back at UFC 264. That night, he lost a decision to Gilbert Burns. That loss snapped a two-fight winning streak. Had he won that night, he wouldâ€™ve likely earned a UFC title shot.
However, Burns was able to best him which has caused him to reset. Wonderboy is still near the very top of the welterweight division but he needs to string together another set of wins before setting his eyes on the title.
Wonderboy was looking for the first of those wins at UFC Vegas 45. However, he has a tough test in Belal Muhammad. Muhammad hasnâ€™t suffered a true loss in the UFC since his decision loss to Geoff Neal back in 2019.
Heâ€™s gone 5-0, 1 NC in his last six fights. The last time we saw Muhammad was against Demian Maia back at UFC 263. It was a lackluster fight but Muhammad got the decision win. He was looking for his biggest UFC win tonight.
UFC Vegas 45 Recap
The UFC Vegas 45 co-main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Immediate pressure from Muhammad and Wonderboy lands a side kick to the body. High kick from Wonderboy lands and Muhammad shoots for a takedown.
Nice takedown defense from Thompson and he lands a couple of shots on Muhammad. Nice combination from Wonderboy on the break. Muhammad goes right back on the pressure as he’s looking to get a takedown. Muhammad gets deep on a takedown attempt and drags Wonderboy down against the fence.
The two men are trading shots along the fence and Wonderboy is using the fence trying to get up. Thompson works his way back to his feet and Muhammad presses him against the fence. Wonderboy reverses things and lands a nice knee to the body before separating.
However, the separation lasts for only seconds as Muhammad goes right back in for a takedown. He’s relentless with this attempt and gets Wonderboy down. Wonderboy gets back to his feet but Muhammad is able to get to his back.
A big slam from Muhammad and he gets the back mount. Thompson gets flattened out and Muhammad starts going to work on the ground and pound. Wonderboy is in trouble but not much time left. The round ends and it’s 1-0 Belal Muhammad at UFC Vegas 45.
Entering the second round at UFC Vegas 45 and Wonderboy has to keep this fight standing. They touch gloves and Muhammad goes right back on the pressure. Nice left straight lands for Wonderboy. Head kick from Wonderboy is blocked by Muhammad.
Nice combination lands for Wonderboy. More pressure from Muhammad but he eats another combination from Wonderboy. However, Muhammad is able to get deep on a takedown attempt and he drags Thompson to the ground.
Wonderboy uses the fence and is able to get back to his feet. However, Muhammad keeps pressing and uses an ankle pick to get Wonderboy down to the ground. Muhammad is attacking a kimura but can’t quite lock it in.
Not much action here as Muhammad continues to control Wonderboy here. Muhammad transitions to side control as he continues to look for the kimura. Not much Wonderboy can do here with under a minute left in the round. The round ends and it was a dominant one for Belal Muhammad at UFC Vegas 45.
Entering the final round at UFC Vegas 45 and Wonderboy is going to need a finish. Muhammad immediately goes on the pressure and Wonderboy tries to land a big combination. However, Muhammad gets a body lock and pushes him up against the fence.
Muhammad gets the takedown and gets right into a dominant position. Wonderboy is using the fence to try and get up. However, Muhammad is landing some decent shots in the clinch here. Wonderboy uses the fence and gets up to his feet.
That said, Muhammad is not giving him any space. Wonderboy gets a break and lands a shot but immediately takes him right back down. This is the most I’ve ever seen Wonderboy taken down in a UFC fight. Wonderboy has two minutes to get up.
Muhammad gets into half guard and starts landing some nice elbows. Now Muhammad finds himself in side control and he’s trying to get to the mount. Wonderboy looks completely dejected on the bottom here.
Thirty seconds left and more elbows are landing for Muhammad. This is going to be a huge win for Belal Muhammad. The fight ends and it was a dominant performance for Belal Muhammad.
Belal Muhammad def. Stephen Thompson by Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-26)