Chatham-Kent’s lone UFC fighter, Dresden native Chris “The Menace” Clements has fully recovered from corrective shoulder surgery and is in camp training for a pivotal fight at UFC 165 on September 22nd, in Toronto. Clements will be facing feared kick boxer Stephen Thompson, who is 2-1 in the UFC with wins over Dan Stittgen and Nah-Shon Burrell bookending a tough loss to Matt Brown.
Clements has been travelling around Ontario and hitting all the top camps in preparation for this fight and has trained at his home base, The Adrenaline Training Center in London, as well as some valuable training with Jeff Joslin, Riccardo Ammendolia and others at Pura BJJ. Clements also plans to visit Rory McDonell at Parabellum MMA in the weeks leading up to his fight. All this dedication to BJJ and grappling clearly shows that Clements’ shoulder is healthier than it has been for years. Clements told me in April that his damaged shoulder prevented him from being able to train all aspects of his game heading in to his first two UFC fights. It is tough to train grappling and wrestling when you are unable to plant your arm to get up off the mat.
Surgery at the end of last year has corrected that problem and Clements is as healthy and prepared for this fight as he has been for any in recent years.
This will be Clements’ third fight in the UFC, and with his loss to Matt Riddle being overturned to a No Contest due to Riddle testing positive for marijuana, he remains undefeated in the UFC. UFC roster spots are in high demand these days, and this fight will go a long way in keeping and securing his spot in the incredibly deep welterweight division.
This match-up is extremely intriguing considering that Clements’ first two opponents in the UFC were considered grapplers at their base. Thompson is an accomplished striker and should be looking to stand and trade blows at the ACC. Thompson may have a reach and technical edge, but Clements has explosive power in his hands and could end this fight at any moment.
Clements will be one of eight Canadian fighters on the UFC 165 card that features a light heavyweight title fight between champion Jon Jones and challenger Alexander Gustafsson.