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UFC 143′s Three Stars: Thompson, Poirier and Barao

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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Thompson celebrates knockout (Getty)

OK, so maybe UFC 143 didn't knock your socks off. The extremely close contest between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit left me wanting to see three more rounds. However, as always, there were fighters whose stars shined a little brighter.

No. 1 star -- Stephen Thompson: It's no surprise that the man nicknamed "Wonderboy" has a kick like a swinging baseball bat. Thompson started off UFC 143 with a stiffening knockout of Daniel Stittgen. He won a $65,000 Knockout of the Night bonus for the kick, which is a nice infusion of cash for a fighter making his UFC debut.

No. 2 star -- Dustin Poirier: Why yes, that was a triangle armbar that Poirier pulled out to submit Max Holloway, and yes, he did win a $65,000 Submission of the Night bonus. Starting in the WEC, Poirier is on a five-fight win streak, which is even more impressive when you consider he is just 23.

No. 3 star -- Renan Barao: Speaking of young fighters with impressive resumes, Barao picked apart Scott Jorgensen, a fighter with an impressive track record of his own. Barao has 27 straight wins, including five under the Zuffa banner.

Who were your three stars? Tell us in the comments or on Facebook.

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