UFC 209— Woodley Retains Welterweight Championship
Rounds 1 & 2
A lackluster first ten minutes keeps the 25-minute fight title fight between Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and welterweight (170-pound) champion Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley essentially dead-even. Fans were left booing and journalists had little to report as both rounds were viewed by some as a staring contest.
Woodley’s unsuccessful with body shots in the second and Thompson jabs him. He then cuts the challenger with a brushing right hand. Thompson damages Woodley’s eye slightly following a roundhouse kick to finish the second.
Woodley moves ahead by a frame halfway through thanks to a single-leg takedown. The University of Missouri wrestling alumnus puts Thompson against the fence. Woodley connects with left hands from up close inside Thompson’s half guard while trying to tie him up. When next they stand. Thompson scores with a left straight to the abdomen but his opponent seems unfazed.
The champion answers a side kick with an overhand right but is countered with a southpaw punch from Thompson as the fighter head to the championship rounds.
The Ferguson, Missouri native misses with an overhand right early. The feeling out process then continues when a Thompson wheel kick is blocked as the 20-minute mark approaches. Single blows from Thompson appear to even things up again by giving him the round. They circle each other until the horn.
The bulk of the last round can be forgotten as they keep up the game of cat and mouse. Woodley seems to separate himself a bit on the scorecards with a partial right straight punch. Thompson goes leg kick-left hook but gets dropped by another odd right during the last minute. Woodley looks to try ground n’ pound but (even better) puts Thompson on the canvas a second time with an uppercut to seal the deal.
Tyron Woodley def. Stephen Thompson via Majority Decision (48-47, 48-47, 47-47)
Parties all around were not happy with the contest though as per UFC.com stats, over the entirety of the bout Woodley landed and absorbed 2.5 strikes per minute. Thompson didn’t fare much better at 3.72 and 2.65 strikes absorbed per minute.