Earlier this week it was announced that Tyron Woodley would defend his UFC welterweight title against Stephen Thompson at UFC 209 in March after their majority draw last November. Since the announcement offshore casinos have set the betting lines with ‘Wonderboy’ as a slight favorite at -120. A bet on Woodley would pay you even money.
It’s really hard to handicap this fight since both men match up so well. Woodley has more technique and has a unique karate style but Woodley has much more power and is a dynamic wrestler. The champ didn’t use his wrestling in their first fight at UFC 205 but we could see him break that out and try to get Thompson to the ground early and often in March.
Woodley admitted that he wanted to beat ‘Wonderboy’ striking and beat him at his own game but it almost cost him his title. Thompson won three out of the five rounds on two scorecards. Judge Doug Crosby gave round one to Woodley, 10-8 while judge Derek Cleary gave Woodley round four, 10-8. Judge Glen Trowbridge had the fight 48-47 for the champion. With two judges scoring it a draw the fight was ruled a majority draw despite Woodley winning the other judge over. In a draw the champion retains his belt.
I imagine both fighters will be looking to finish the fight at UFC 209 and not leave it in the judge’s hands.
Khabib Nurmagomedov will take on Tony Ferguson in the co-main event of the show for the interim UFC lightweight title. Nurmagomedov is the early favorite at -175.