UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and top contender Stephen Thompson fought to a draw in the co-main event of UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday night.
According to one of the judges, Woodley won the championship fight over Thompson, 48-47, but the other two judges scored the bout 47-47, which led to the majority draw. Following the pay-per-view event, it was bantered back and forth that a rematch is likely between Woodley and Thompson.
“I think we should do battle and see who gets it,” Thompson said. “It was a tie, so let’s break that tie, and after we do it again, I will give anybody their title shot, whoever deserves it next. I don’t know if anybody wants to see that rematch, but I would love to do it again.”
Originally, Woodley was declared the winner by split decision, but it was later announced that he would keep the championship despite the fight being 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.
“I thought I won the fight,” Woodley said. “The fourth round, when I almost had him finished, I thought they should’ve stopped the fight. I saw his eyes roll back. I was surprised they didn’t stop it. It looks like in Eddie’s fight, they stopped it a little bit sooner than mine, but you keep fighting. You keep pushing forward.”
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.
Instead, Thompson got loose from the hold and recovered enough to stand up and finish not only the fourth round, but also, the fifth.
“He’s a tough guy,” Woodley said. “He recovered. I think I punched him one more time and woke him back up. He revived with some energy. It was just a back-and-forth fight and when they said that, I looked over like, ‘Hell no. You are not about to give my belt away because I did not lose this fight.’ I just felt real confident I won the fight and I was just kind of bummed that it was a draw because I felt I won the fight.”