Tyron Woodley (17-3-1) needed an outstanding final round to beat Stephen Thompson (13-2-1) in his welterweight title rematch in the main event at UFC 209 as a majority decision, where two judges ruled 48-47 in favor of Woodley and one judge ruled 47-47 as a draw.
The first round set the tone for the fight as a tentative one, with Thompson sizing up the champ and Woodley cautiously moving backwards, waiting for an opening to strike. Thompson’s length kept Woodley at bay, as he used side kicks and jabs to test his distance.
FanBuzz first round: 10-9 Thompson
The second was much of the same, with Thompson waiting for Woodley to strike and simply attacking at will with his long legs. Other than a quick flurry and overhand right, Woodley wasn’t involved in much of the action from Round 2.
FanBuzz second round: 10-9 Thompson (20-18 Thompson)
Woodley was much more aggressive coming into the third, getting a takedown less than a minute into Round 3. He trapped his right hand under his body and Woodley pounded away at Thompson’s face over the first half of the frame. Thompson was able to escape, eating a few knees while Woodley held onto the Muy Thai clinch against the cage.
FanBuzz third round: 10-9 Woodley (29-28 Woodley)
In the championship round, Woodley threw his patience out the window, attacking more consistently and mixing his jab with a feign to throw overhand rights. Thompson matched Woodley with some nasty kicks, including a spinning heel kick that caught Woodley on the side of the head. Simply from the standpoint of significant strikes landed, Thompson takes this round as well.
FanBuzz fourth round: 10-9 Thompson (39-37 Thompson)
Needing a dominant round or stoppage, Woodley closed the distance and stalked Thompson around the cage. A furious sprint in the final round where Woodley knocked Thompson down twice gave him the unquestionable win of the round.
FanBuzz fifth round: 10-8 Woodley (47-47)
In a significantly different bout, Woodley and Thompson battled out an absolute war at UFC 205 back in November, finishing as a majority decision where the champ retained.
It was Woodley’s first title defense after stunning former champion Robbie Lawler with a first-round knockout at UFC 201. Woodley was on a three-fight win streak heading into his November bout.
Thompson rattled off a seven-fight win streak heading into his title fight with Woodley. He beat top opponents Robert Whittaker, Patrick Cote, Johny Hendricks and Rory MacDonald on his way to the fight.
Despite coming into the fight as the champ, Woodley was the +115 underdog.