Woodley Narrowly Escapes Wonderboy
When they last met at UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden, Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson put on an amazing display with the welterweight championship on the line — all for the judges to rule the bout a majority draw.
At UFC 209, the cards were close once again, with one judge giving the bout a 47-47 draw. But Woodley got one additional point on two of the judges’ scorecards to get the win this time around and retain the title.
The event was uneventful with the exception of the last 30 seconds — where Woodley nearly scored a knockout win with a barrage of shots to Thompson against the cage. The Las Vegas crowd booed both men heavily during the bout, and Twitter was not so kind.
@brentbrookhouse Both fighters would have been given at least two yellow cards apiece. 2000-era JMMA referees had no tolerance for this.
— Robert Sargent (@MMARising) March 5, 2017
Okay, welterweight division. Let’s, uh, let’s move on now. pic.twitter.com/W93Fke66FZ
— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) March 5, 2017
This was the only title fight on the card, thought it was not planned that way. An interim lightweight title contest featuring Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson was canceled yesterday due to Nurmagomedov falling ill during weight cutting.
A combination from Thompson with about 90 seconds left, and a leg-kick counter by Woodley with about 30 seconds left, was pretty much the only action to occur in the first round. The rest of the round was spent by both fighters "feeling it out." The second round saw a little more action, but still not much. It seemed Woodley was attempting to lure the challenger in and catch him and take him down, similar to what happened in their first encounter back in November. To put into perspective how much little action both fighters did through two, Thompson led in significant strikes — he was 7-for-7.
Woodley finally did catch Thompson with a single-leg taekdown in the first minute of the third round, but he could not do too much with him on the ground. Thompson got back to his feet with three minutes to go, and the stalling continued with the exception of some combinations from both men int he last minute. About a minute into the fourth round and the Las Vegas crowd grew so restless, you could hear them as clear as the commentators. Wonderboy had the most noticeable shot of the bout, a wheelkick with 3:13 to go in the round.
The most significant moment in the bout, however, came with about 30 seconds left in the fight. Woodley nailed the challenger with a barrage of shots, and at one point it looked like Thompson was on wobbly legs and the bout could have been called off. The decision, however, went into the judges’ hands, and Woodley ultimately retained the title.
This is Thompson’s first loss since 2012.
UFC 209 Main Card (10 p.m. ET, PPV:
UFC welterweight championship: (c.) Tyron Woodley def. Stephen Thompson via majority decision (48-47, 47-47, 48-47)
David Teymur def. Lando Vannata via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Daniel Kelly def. Rashad Evans via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Cynthia Calvillo def. Amanda Cooper via submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 1, 3:19)
Alistair Overeem def. Mark Hunt via KO (Rd. 3, 1:44)
UFC 209 Preliminary Card (8 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1):
Marcin Tybura def. Luis Henrique via TKO (Rd. 3, 3:46)
Darren Elkins def. Mirsad Bektic via TKO (Rd. 3, 3:19)
Iuri Alcantara def. Luke Sanders via submission (kneebar) (Rd. 2, 3:13)
Mark Godbeer def. Daniel Spitz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
UFC 209 Early Prelims (7 p.m., UFC Fight Pass):
Tyson Pedro def. Paul Craig via TKO (Rd. 1, 4:10)
Albert Morales def. Andre Soukhamthath via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)