Tyron Woodley retains welterweight title at UFC 209, Mark Hunt knocked out

The UFC 209 main event welterweight title bout between Stephen Thompson and champion Tyron Woodley turned into the ultimate chess match.

With the bout tied at one round a piece heading into the third, Elkins displayed superior cardio and conditioning, absorbing strikes, while dominating Bektic in the clinch.

"I don't think it's being outspoken, I think it's just speaking on what you think is factual or true", Woodley said. "He was equipped and ready for me to come in close, so he was keeping me at bay. But, I don't know, we'll see what happens from here", he concluded.

The fight was nothing to write about whatsoever.

Still, while White scored it for Stephen, he says at the end of the day, the judges' have the final say and was adamant in saying the win for Woodley "didn't help his case". After a bloody war, the judges ruled the bout a majority draw, meaning the champion was allowed to keep his belt. Woodley's back was consistenly against the cage, not throwing shots and was hesistant to engage on Thompson. "Respect Thompson's striking, but don't respect it too much".

UFC 209 was supposed to be about Conor McGregor.

"That's O.K.", Woodley objected at the post-fight press conference when confronted with the negative reviews of the fight. But he did himself no favors on Saturday, fighting cautiously and not firing his trademark overhand right.

It will just take a little while longer for him to potentially get there after the memory of a awful UFC 209 fight that won't soon go away.

Woodley outpointed Thompson, 70-66, in overall strikes and 54-53 in significant blows.

The only serious action of the fight came in the final 30 seconds when Woodley landed a straight right hand that dumped Thompson.

For his part, Woodley saw success when he did attack in the third and fifth rounds and that's why he still has the title. His trainer Duke Roufus kept asking him to be agressive and finally did after being down two rounds. However, in the fourth, Thompson returned to his range game, outpointing Woodley on the feet. Shame he didn't do that throughout the fight. Woodley's hesitation - part tactics, part brain freeze - allowed Thompson to walk forward as he wished, yet he offered little in the way of effective offense during the opening two rounds.

Boos rained down throughout much of the championship tilt, with only the occasional pause for a courageous soul to make a feeble attempt at humor by shouting a movie line or larger groups of fans rhythmically encouraging the combatants to "fight, fight, fight". This could be just the kind of match up that the heavy handed Woodley needs to bring him out of his recently conservative shell.

Sadly, "Wonderboy" wasn't able to wrestle the title away from Woodley on this occasion so he's going to put the loss in the past and focus on what comes next in his UFC career. A carbon copy of the same thing as the first round.

  • Julie Sanders