Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley retained his belt at UFC 205 in his first title defense against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, but he didn’t win the fight. After five rounds, the back-and-forth battle was ruled a majority draw by the judges. On March 4, Woodley and Thompson will rematch in the UFC 209 main event in Las Vegas to settle what started in November.
“I think the rematch is happening because the last fight was a draw,” Woodley said during the UFC 209 media conference call. “The fight was a draw, according to the judges, and it was Fight of the Night on the biggest card in UFC history. So everyone wants to see it again.”
The champion nearly finished Thompson with strikes and by submission at UFC 205. He plans to build on the success that he had in their first bout.
“I’m excited. I’m in great shape. I feel so much better than I did the first time I fought him,” he said. “Going into this fight, I’m so confident.”
Every fighter trains to be a better fighter in their next outing. Woodley saw Thompson’s unique fighting style. Thompson felt Woodley’s punching power and wrestling strength. Both will be looking to display improvements when they meet for the second time at the T-Mobile Arena on the famed Las Vegas Strip. But Woodley’s not concerned with Thompson’s potential adjustments.
“I’m not concerned about anything. I mean, what did he do to me in the last fight that should make me concerned? I’m not the one that got knocked down four times in one round, nearly submitted, completely dominated in the first round,” he said. “There’s nothing that he could have done in his training camp to make him that different of a fighter. With that said, no, I’m not concerned.”
Woodley is the world champion. No one has taken that away from him. Thompson was unable to in their first fight, and Woodley doesn’t think he’ll be able to when they meet again. “T-Wood” wants to use the rematch with Thompson to show the world, or remind them, that he’s the best welterweight on the planet.
“I can’t wait to go out there and prove the world that I’m the best welterweight in the history of our sport,” said Woodley.
“I have the power. I’ve got the wrestling. I’ve got the ground game. I’ve got the endurance. I’ve got the mental toughness to go out here and put anybody away. I’m just excited. I’m going to go out there and have one more opportunity to prove that I’m the greatest welterweight of all time.”