MMA 'wonderboy' Stephen Thompson says speed, movement key to success in UFC
MMA rising star Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson is in town to promote UFC's recently forged partnership with Smart. Jaime Campos

LIKE its importance on internet connection, Stephen Thompson underscored the significance of speed in mixed martial arts, evidenced by his latest victory in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The rising UFC star knocked Johny Hendricks out with his lightning-quick punches in the first round of their fight last February 6.

“Speed is power,” Thompson said on Wednesday. “If you don’t have speed, if you’re not fast enough to hit your opponent, you can’t do damage.”

“Movement and speed are part of my game, so that’s something I’ll continue to work on and hopefully improve it as well,” the man fondly known as 'Wonderboy,' who is in town to promote the top MMA outfit’s partnership with Smart.

Thompson, now the second-ranked welterweight contender in the world and poised for a title fight against champion Robbie Lawler, gave his advice to Filipino fighters.

“Just keep training hard,” said the American fighter, who turned 33 last February 11. “I know you have a few guys in the UFC, but let’s keep building it up.”

“I’d love to come and do some training with you, guys, pretty soon and hopefully I’ll be back in the Philippines for another UFC event,” added the kickboxing champion.

For now, Thompson is enjoying his latest triumph while in Manila as UFC announced its multi-year deal with Smart, which has become the official and exclusive mobile carrier of the UFC in the Philippines.

Promos will give Smart Bro subscribers special access to UFC fan events and the exclusive opportunity to meet and interact with top UFC fighters, as well as UFC Fight Pass.

“We can’t wait to bring the sport to our subscribers through our unparalleled services and offers,” Smart first vice president Oscar Reyes said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos