It was another close fight between Tyron Woodley and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, and once again, it was Woodley beating the UFC odds to remain Welterweight champion.
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is a heck of a fighter. But it might be a while before he gets another shot at the Welterweight title. Thompson lost a very close majority decision to Tyron Woodley at Saturday’s UFC 209 card in Las Vegas; one judge scored it as a draw, while the other two had the champion ahead 48-47.
In a way, this was a lot like their first fight in November. That one saw Woodley retain by majority draw, with only one judge on his side instead of two. But the UFC odds were a bit different this time. While the champion was still an underdog at most sportsbooks, bettors flocked to Woodley over the weekend instead of the popular challenger. Some books even had it as a coin flip by the time they stepped into the Octagon.
No doubt there will be some Thompson supporters who are unhappy with the majority decision. UFC president Dana White himself stirred the pot after the match and said he had Thompson ahead three rounds to two. But the MMA gurus at both Sherdog and ESPN saw it the same way as the judges.
It was a difficult fight to score. As often happens in rematches, Saturday’s bout turned into something of a stalemate between the two opponents. Very little contact was made during the first two rounds – and the Las Vegas crowd wasn’t very happy about it. Business picked up in the next two rounds, with Thompson looking like he’d win the fight in the fifth, but Woodley knocked him down with just 40 seconds remaining and knocked him down again before the final horn sounded. That was enough for the champ to keep his title.
Tyron Woodley on Dana White's scoring: "I would like to see Dana get in there and fight 'Wonderboy.'" #UFC209— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) March 5, 2017
Underdogs like Woodley proved to be the right betting pick in six of the 11 fights on Saturday’s card. Unfortunately, the matchup everyone will be talking about (besides the main event) will be the one that didn’t take place: Khabib Nurmagomedov had to pull out of his interim Lightweight title bout with Tony Ferguson after complications from the weight cut. It’s the third time these two gentlemen have had their would-be fight postponed. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen a fourth time.