On February 6, 2016, at UFC 196 Werdum vs. Velasquez II, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Nev., Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (11-1) will face his toughest opponent yet in the co-main event, when he faces off against former welterweight champion Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks (17-3). Thompson is currently riding a five-fight win streak, with knockouts over Jake Ellenberger and Chris Clements, along with a TKO victory over Robert Whitacker. Hendricks, on the other hand, is 2-2 in his last four fights and is looking to show the world that he still belongs at the top of the division.

Leading into the fight with Hendricks, Thompson is taking time out of his training schedule to do a weekly blog with Press Box Insider on Mile High Sports Radio and TheMMACorner.com. In the second edition of Thompson’s weekly blog, Wonderboy sat down with Josh Davis of Press Box Insider and The MMA Corner to discuss the start of training camp, the holiday season and the financial stressors of funding your own training camp.

Leading into a fight camp fighters face many different stressors that most fans take for granted and for most, the top stressors is money. It is not free for a fighter to run his fight camp. Beyond just the normal costs of living, it costs a fighter money to bring in training partners, pay gym dues, etc. In addition, they have the added expense of a dietitian, nutritionist, weight management specialist, etc. When it is all said and done, for some fighters it can actually cost them money to compete. “When you are bringing in guys from out of town, you are buying their tickets, you are putting them with places to stay, feeding them while they are here, you know, it gets expensive.”

Before the Reebok deal, many fighters used their sponsorship money to pay for camps but now, for most, they no longer have outside sponsors to help fund camp and are forced to pay for it out of their own pocket. “As of right now, it is actually coming out of my own pocket. I am in the process of changing up managers and as of right now I do not have any outside sponsors to be honest with you and I am always looking for sponsors to help with camps and help me bring these guys in so that way I can prepare for my fights coming up.”

With all of the different stressors that a fighter must endure leading up to a fight it is amazing that when the time comes they are actually ready and prepared to fight.  While the Reebok deal has changed the game in many ways, it has also limited the ability of fighters to properly train and prepare for upcoming fights.

For the full interview with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and his father/coach Ray Thompson click here.

For the full episode of Press Box Insider click here.

About The Author

Josh Davis
President and Site Director
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Josh Davis is the owner and President of The MMA Corner, LLC. He has been a fan of mixed martial arts since seeing UFC 1 in his hometown. In addition to his The MMA Corner responsibilities, Josh is the editor of Scrapp! Fight Magazine. Josh has also written for MMA Unleashed and MMA Sports magazines. Josh also manages some of Colorado's best up and coming fighters and is dedicated to the positive promotion of the sport.