Saturday, March 4, 2016, main event begins at 10pm pacific time, T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Woodley – 16 – 3 – 1
Thompson – 13 – 1 – 1
Tyrone Woodley: (+130 with Bovada.lv)
Stephen Thompson: (-160 with Bovada.lv)
IT’S the re-match of arguably the fight of the year in 2016 as welterweight champion Tyrone Woodley defends his belt again against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
Their last fight was a titanic struggle at UFC 205 in which both men dominated large portions of the bout but could not get the decisive blow.
The fight ended in a draw – which meant Woodley retained his belt – leading many to believe a rematch would be the next event both men competed in.
The draw was contentious at the time, and the current champion believes the result should have gone differently. Woodley believes Thompson is ‘lucky’ to be getting a direct rematch.
“I think he needs to realize he’s blessed and lucky he’s getting this fight,” Woodley said.
“A different scoring card, different judges, he would have lost the fight, and he would have had to work two or three more fights to get back in here. He needs to realize this a great opportunity for him to focus more on going out there and trying to defeat me this time and less on why we’re fighting.”
Incredibly, the champion goes into the bout as the -130 underdog despite his performance at UFC 205, which arguably could have gone his way.
Woodley says the Vegas odds do not change his mindset going into the fight, or his MMA legacy.
“Being the underdog doesn’t change anything,” Woodley said.
“You still got to go out there and fight. I’ve been the underdog – I don’t remember the last time I was the favorite, and I haven’t lost since (Rory MacDonald in June 2014).”
“I got in this sport to be the best in the world. Right now I’m one of the best. When I retire from fighting I want to be pound-for-pound the greatest welterweight that’s even fought in the octagon, and my goal is to keep knocking out guys one by one and get to that point.”
Finally the Woodley vs Thompson rematch is upon us, and this time we are hoping we get a definitive winner after last year’s dubious draw decision.
The fighters were respectful at their stare down on Thursday but all that will be thrown out the window when the competitors take to the octagon on Saturday night.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) March 2, 2017
Although a draw would suggest the two fighters are evenly matched, their styles could not contrast further.
Woodley is measured fighter who utilizes his superior wrestling skills and patiently picks his spots against opponents. The current champion dominates the octagon through his strength and imposing physique.
Not only is Woodley a world-class wrestler, he also possesses serious knockout power; as evidenced when he floored Robbie Lawler to claim the welterweight belt.
Thompson is a striker who implements a unique karate-style of kickboxing. The challenger uses his long, slender frame to deliver kicks at range. “Wonderboy” has an unpredictable style that can truly disrupt opponents like few others on the UFC roster.
The big question going into the main event is – how will each fighter adjust to get the win on Saturday?
Woodley was incredibly effective in negating Thompson’s fighting style at UFC 205, but the champion himself admits he ‘regrets’ going for the guillotine choke that Wonderboy escaped from, giving him a huge boost in the judge’s eyes.
Thompson was tentative in the first fight when throwing kicks after Woodley caught his first shot and took him down. A similar scenario on Saturday will see the champion retain his belt. Wonderboy needs to risk losing in order to win.
It is the toughest fight on the card to predict but we are taking the champion in a tight contest. Woodley wants to be considered the greatest welterweight of all-time – it begins by defeating the man he could not finish off at UFC 205.
Parlay bet for UFC 209
Saturday’s UFC event is one of the most stacked main cards we will see this year, which means there are plenty of bouts we can throw in to a parlay.
Firstly, we are taking the knock out power of Mark Hunt against a man who has been susceptible to heavy-hitters in the past, Allister Overeem. Hunt will be on a mission to avenge his loss against Lesnar and former steroid user Overeem will be firmly in the Aussie’s sights.
Then we move onto undefeated grappling-powerhouse Khabib Nurmagomedov, who takes on the white-hot Tony Ferguson. Ferguson’s record is imposing but Nurmagomedov is an animal who is intent on winning the lightweight crown. We are taking the Russian.
To round it out we are taking Woodley to beat Thompson for the reasons stated above.
An investment of $100 on this parlay will give you a return of $654.50 at Bovada.lv.