Woodley explains why he was so tentative to engage with Thompson, but does he regret not being more aggressive? (w/Cervantes Analysis)

By Jonathan Cervantes, MMATorch contributor

Tyron Woodley (photo credit Adam Hunger © USA Today Sports)
After putting on a legendary bout at UFC 205, Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson were expected to do the same at last night’s UFC 209 event. However, what ensued was a lackluster performance that left many fans in the arena dissatisfied with what they had witnessed.

Woodley and Thompson were booed heavily throughout the fight as neither fighter seemed committed to engaging in the same wild exchanges as their first bout. Woodley admitted at the post-fight press conference that he understood the frustration. “When you fight somebody for the second time, especially somebody like ‘Wonderboy,’ he’s really crafty,” Woodley said. “A lot of people don’t realize, what I’m seeing when I’m in there is not the same thing the fans may see. They want to see the bulldozer come forward, because they’ve seen me do that so many times.”

Woodley also acknowledged he could have done more to make the fight more exciting and that he should’ve taken advantage of more opportunities throughout the fight, but also defended his decision to play it safe. “It was frustrating,” Woodley said. “There were moments where I should have maybe faked a shot, came up punching, went back to the shot, came up punching – just some stuff to chop the tree down and get a little closer to a longer opponent. So yeah, I could’ve done a little bit more of that. But there were times where the opening wasn’t there for the takedown. Trying to just jab him in the face is hard because he looks a lot closer than what he is, and he’s waiting to fade back and counter with his right hand. And I’ve seen it time and time again; he fades back, counter right hand, lead leg roundhouse, and that’s where he knocks guys out.”

Although the fight was very close, Woodley defeated Thompson via majority decision to retain his Welterweight Title.

Cervantes Analysis: Definitely a far cry from the epic fight we saw back at UFC 205 and hard to believe these are the same fighters. I don’t blame Thompson so much as he was the one who tried engaging Woodley, but the champion departed from his usual bull rush style that has made him so exciting in the past and that resulted in a long drawn out affair that left fans unhappy. The scoring was highly controversial as well and even the commissioner said he disagreed with the judge who scored the last round 10-8 in favor of Woodley. Still, even in spite of the controversy and how close this fight was, it’s time to get the division moving, so here’s hoping the UFC  doesn’t throw together another rematch between the two.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.