Tyron Woodley manages to keep his UFC Title for the second time against Stephen Thompson, although not everyone was impressed.
The two fighters had gone to a majority draw in their UFC 205 bout back in november, making it the fight of the night in NY. This time around, they fought in a more tentative manner, landing just six significant strikes between the two in the first round.
The crowd grew increasingly agitated, making it clear they were unhappy at the lack of action in the early rounds. Both fighters kept their distance, with Thompson seemingly landing the more significant strikes.
Woodley tried to build some pressure on Thompson in the third round with a takedown against the fence. It left the 34-year-old ‘Wonderboy’ pinned down, but Thompson had recovered by the end of the round.
Thompson’s tactical approach left Woodley struggling to connect with the challenger, but he eventually found a way through with less than 30 seconds of the fight to go. He then managed to land a huge flurry of punches that left Thompson hurt.
This proved enough to edge the fight, with two judges scoring the fight 48-47 for Woodley. The third judge scored it a draw between the two fighters.
“I thought I had more of the strikes, but you can’t leave it in the judges hands,” admitted Thompson afterwards.
The card lost one of its main fights at short notice when Khabib Nurmagomedov, who had been scheduled to face Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title, was hospitalized on Friday night.
Nurmagomedov had suffered health issues as he tried to cut weight for the fight.
“The most important thing right now is Khabib’s health,” Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdel-Aziz told MMA Fighting. “We’re not thinking about what’s next at this time.”
Swedish fighter, David Teymur claimed a unanimous victory over lightweight rival, Lando Vannata in what proved to be an explosive fight.
The up-and-coming fighters have both earned reputations for their exciting fights in the past. They stepped up to deliver one of the best bouts of the year.
Vannata landed a cartwheel kick early on while Teymur scored an unanswered superman punch and a combination of knees in a back-and-forth battle, before all three judges scored the fight 30-27 in Teymur’s favour.
“I’ve said this since day one. The day I come to the UFC, I didn’t come just to say hi,” Teymur said after the fight.
“I’m coming for the world title.”
Rashad Evans suffered a defeat in his first fight at middleweight as he returned to action after nearly a year out.
29-year-old Cynthia Calvillo took the fight on with just 10 days notice. Calvillo secured her win by rear naked choke after three minutes and 19 seconds. She defeated Amanda Cooper in the first round.
“My ultimate goal is to be a world champion. So I just need to work my way up there until I get that shot,” she said afterwards.