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UFC 209 results: Tyron Woodley defeats Stephen Thompson by majority decision to retain title

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LAS VEGAS – Stephen Thompson and Tyron Woodley both sold a false bill of goods ahead of their welterweight title rematch.

The bold proclamation from Thompson was that he “figured out” Woodley by the end of their first fight in November. Woodley, on the other hand, raved about the likelihood that, this time, he would finish Thompson.

Neither fighter’s claim proved to be true, and in the end Woodley found a way to retain his welterweight title with a majority decision victory over Thompson, 48-47, 47-47, 48-47.

The welterweight title bout was the main event of today’s UFC 209 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

The result settles the score after Woodley (17-3-1 MMA, 7-2-1 UFC) and Thompson (13-2-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) fought to a majority draw last November.

For those into tactical fights with little action, this fight was for you. But it was evident that the majority of the T-Mobile Arena crowd wasn’t into it, showering the fighters with boos during the bout and after all five rounds.

“When you fight someone for the second time it’s like a chess match, you don’t want to give up anything,” Woodley said. “I knew that his game plan was going to be to keep it on the outside and not let me get in close because that’s where I do the most damage, and he did a great job.”

Caution was the name of the game throughout the fight as both Woodley and Thompson played it safe. The first meaningful action happened in the third round, when Woodley took down Thompson in the first minute. With top position, Woodley kept control of Thompson’s right arm, allowing him clean punches to the face and body. Thompson struggled back to his feet but eventually did, and once they separated, neither fighter took a chance the rest of the round.

Thompson spent most of the fourth round looking to counter Woodley, though the champ didn’t oblige with his attack. Heading into the fifth round, Woodley’s corner told him he needed to finish, which seemed to click as he came out with a sense of urgency.

With both men still looking fresh, Woodley continued to charge forward and dictate the pace, leading to the biggest moment of the fight in the final 30 seconds, when Woodley landed a straight right and came on strong. The onslaught of punches buckled Thompson, who collapsed to the canvas and covered up as Woodley’s attack continued.

Referee “Big” John McCarthy appeared close to stopping the fight, though he let it go to the judges, who narrowly scored the win in favor of the champ.

“In the last round we all know I went out there for the kill,” Woodley said. “I wish I would’ve did that in a few other rounds. I knew it was close.”

Said Thompson: “He hit me, knocked me down. It was like a flash knockdown. I got back up, and I thought I finished the round on top. But it is what it is. … I thought I had it.”

Up-to-the-minute UFC 209 results include:

For complete coverage UFC 209, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Mike Bohn contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)



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