Tyron Woodley wanted to make history in his first UFC welterweight championship defense, and history he made as the first champion in his weight class to have a draw in a title bout.
According to one of the judges, Woodley won the championship fight over top-ranked contender Stephen Thompson, 48-47, but the other two judges scored the bout 47-47, which led to the majority draw in the co-main event of UFC 205 inside Madison Square Garden in New York City Saturday night.
“I did, but I didn’t want him to finish with a flurry,” Woodley said in The Octagon after the fight. “He caught me with some good, straight punches, and I wasn’t able to get those combinations off. He’s a great gauger of space.”
Originally, Woodley was declared the winner by split decision, but it was later announced that he would keep the championship, but the fight was scored a draw.
Woodley landed 113 of his 200 strikes in the bout, 61 of which were significant, while Thompson caught the welterweight champion with 60 blows.
Late in the fourth round, Woodley landed a straight right hand to Thompson’s face and rather than going for the finish with his hands, he elected to lock in a guillotine choke. Although Woodley had the submission hold in deep, he could not get Thompson to submit.
“I should’ve gotten space though because I had him rocked with a shot, and he went for an under-hook,” Woodley said. “I should’ve created a lot of space and landed some hard punches.
“It was a bad call. I should’ve created space and landed some more power shots. He had a pretty decent under-hook and he was recovering.”
With the fight ending in a majority draw, Thompson hopes he and Woodley can do battle once again inside The Octagon.
“This guy is a monster, dude,” Thompson said in his post-fight interview. “He’s very strong in the clinch, on top position. He was right there in your face, man. He had good timing, good power. He kept me guessing the whole time.
“I thought I outpointed him the last round, but you know what? It is what it is, baby. We will do it again. I don’t care. We will do it again back here in Madison Square Garden. Let’s go.”