They always say the sequel isn’t as good as the original, and at UFC 209 Saturday night this was absolutely the case.
In what was a slow paced and strategic battle, UFC Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley defeated Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson by majority decision to retain his title. This was Woodley’s second straight successful title defense against Thompson, the first was a classic encounter back in November at UFC 205 that ended in a majority draw.
The first two rounds of the fight were mostly an uneventful feeling out period until Woodley threw an elbow so quick that if you blinked you missed it that would cut open. Thompson, despite being cut open at the end of the second round was controlling the fight with his kickboxing pedigree, he was able to stay back and land some significant kicks.
Woodley came out firing in round three, quickly scoring a takedown just 10 seconds. He was however unable to capitalize on the ground and just barely controlled the round.
The crowd became restless showering the fighters with a storm of boos for much of the final two rounds. It felt like the fighters were being too careful and tentative until the final round in which Woodley nearly scored a knockout when he knocked over Thompson with a left jab.
The judges all scored the fight 48-47, 48-47 and 47-47. UFC President Dana White was quoted after the fight as saying that he thought Thompson was the winner and was shocked that a judge scored the final round 10-8. After an intense training camp for both Woodley and Thompson the two will surely take some well deserved time off before getting back into the octagon.
Knockout of the Night-Alistair Ovareem def. Mark Hunt
Heavyweight Alistair Ovareem, one of the best knockout artists in MMA history added another victim to his gallery when he finished off Mark hunt with a double knee and fist combo in the third round. Mark Hunt cut his shin badly in the first round and was worn down throughout the rest of the fight. Hunt was only able to weather the storm for so long however and was knocked out cold by the most accurate striker in UFC history at 1:44 of the third round
Submission of the Night Cynthia Cavillio def. Amanda Cooper
In her UFC debut Strawweight competitor Cynthia Cavillo put Amanda Cooper to sleep. Cavillio scored an early takedown on Cooper and was able to be extremely efficient with her positioning ending the fight with a rear choke at 3:19 of the first round. Cavillo is now 4-0 in professional MMA, she has fought for the Legacy Fighting Alliance and Global Knockout.
Fight of the Night David Teymur def. Lando Vannata
This fight was promoted to the co-main event after Khabib Nurmaomedov was determined unable to fight after issues with his weight cut. This was an incredible back and forth fight Lando Vannata was showing off his signiture spin kicks in the first round in combination with his incredible quickness. The two would go on to trade haymakers in the second round until David Teymur took control with a powerful superman punch. Teymur would go on to win by a unanimous decision with the judges scoring the bout 30-27.