In one of the most tentative title fights in UFC history, Tyron Woodley eventually exploded into life in the fifth and final round in order to win a closely fought majority decision and retain his UFC welterweight title.
After the first two rounds in which both fighters could barely be split, the champion Woodley landed a takedown in the third keeping top position against the cage. The fourth round would then see a return of the hesitant action which had urged the restless crowd to chant ‘Fight!’ before heading into the final stanza, Woodley’s corner told their fighter that he was in need of a finish.
With the need for urgency ringing in his ears, ‘The Chosen One’ would up the tempo and intensity of his striking game and landed a flush right hand which put his challenger to the canvas. Woodley would continue to reign punches on Thompson for the final 30 seconds only for ‘Wonderboy’ to do just enough defensively to stay off referee John McCarthy from putting an end to the bout. Despite his failure to put an early end to the contest, Woodley was seen to have done enough to edge a decision in the eyes of two of the ringside judges.
Meanwhile, in the co-main event, prospects Lando Vannata and David Teymur put on a fast-paced striking battle which ultimately saw the unfancied Teymur come out on top.
Using his veteran experience in the world of Muay Thai, Teymur volleyed in knees in the clinch with heavy leg kicks designed to slow down the movement of Vannata. From there, Teymur landed the more significant strikes in the final two rounds and recorded a massive victory in a fight which will do wonders for both fighter’s UFC stock.
Tyron Woodley def. Stephen Thompson via majority decision (48-47, 47-47, 48-47)