Stephen „Wonderboy“ Thompson Officially Adds „Model“ To His Resume


It turns out the fashion industry can be intimidating for anyone—even MMA fighter Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, who has just signed a contract with top agency IMG Models, which is also home to names like Gigi Hadid. “Walking to the cage [where] people see you getting punched in the face and kneed, and hundreds of thousands of people chanting for you to win or lose…” he muses before considering the runway. “To be honest what scares me the most is something new, and [the catwalk] would definitely be more frightening than walking to the cage.”

Of course this isn’t his first foray into the modeling world, having previously posed for CR Men’s Book issue 4 (“I loved it,” he said of the experience. “It was great”) but his partnership with arguably the largest modeling agency in the world is certainly a big step forward. To his credit, Thompson is wasting no time jumping in to his new gig and will be attending New York Fashion Week next month. “I know there’s a lot of shows, a lot of parties and stuff going on. That doesn’t really intrigue me the most,” he explained. “Of course it’s going to be fun, but I’m just more looking forward to meeting everybody.” He later added: “I’m trying to soak up everything, and be as observant as possible.”

Though his day job as a professional fighter and karate teacher poses a threat to his face (which seems antithetical to the pursuit of a second career based entirely on looks), he isn’t worried. If anything, he’s charmed by the fashion industry’s embrace of his background. “It brings something new to the fashion industry, having a fighter [doing this job]. Who would think a fighter would ever be a model, right?”

Of course this is very much in line with IMG’s recent foray into sports. This is the company’s second hiring of a high-profile athlete to it’s men’s boards after bull rider Bonner Bolton was brought on last year. If Bolton’s modeling career is any indication, Thompson is in for a wild ride. But it seems he’s up for the adventure.

“This is such an exciting development for me, stepping in to another world,” he said of his new gig. “I’m actually very nervous, to be honest with you! Moving in to another—not really a career change, but just something different for me. I’m always excited to change, and this is definitely a great opportunity.”


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