Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson to become the new welterweight champion
Mar 05 2017 by Kelly Saunders
Woodley and Thompson previously did battle over in the co-main event of the historic UFC 205 in November. Before he was a rising prospect, Woodley was "a bag of bones" for some of the more established talent at American Top Team and he's maintained his allegiance to the South Florida-based fight team every since.
That being said, Hunt is now in the midst of legal proceedings against the UFC and so it's likely that's the reason his fight has been overlooked.
Thompson earned his initial shot at Woodley's belt with following the biggest win of his career in the form of a unanimous decision over Rory MacDonald in their main event fight at UFC Fight Night 89. After rushing forward with a quick combo, Thompson leapt back to avoid Woodley's takedown attempt. Two judges scored it a draw and one scored the bout for Woodley.
After watching the fight, it's clear that Thompson took the first two round after forcing the champion to remain on the back foot, even if he didn't unleash much offence.
Another thing worth noting here is Woodley's constantly underutilized leg-kicks.
"I thought I was going to finish him, but in the end I got the victory", Woodley said as quoted on MMAFighting. Woodley was looking to defend his title for the first time, and hurt Thompson badly in the first round, but couldn't finish him off. Thompson looked stronger as the fight went on, but Woodley didn't look as exhausted in the later rounds as many expected.
Thompson somehow survived the barrage of blows to hear the bell. I am going to take MMA striking to a new level. I wish I would've did (sic) that in a few other rounds.
Khabib Nurmagomedov's UFC interim lightweight title bout with Tony Ferguson was cancelled today after Nurmagomedov was hospitalised due to problems making weight.
Also on the card are a returning Rashad Evans, who is making his long-awaited debut at middleweight after a medical scare, fan favoriteMark Hunt, who is now attempting to sue the UFC over his opponents' PED usage, and rising prospects Lando Vannata (lightweight) and Mirsad Bektic (featherweight).
'Groovy' Lando Vannata will then take on David Teymur in the men's lightweight division.
Below is all the information you need to watch Saturday's card, and below that is the full official fight card for the night of fights.
Thompson disagreed with the decision and felt that he did enough to win the fight. Cynthia Calvillomade the most of her Octagon debut, forcing a stylish rear-naked choke submission in the opening round against Amanda Cooper.
The champion, though, did what he needed with the title hanging in the balance.
Alistair Overeem kept himself relevant in the heavyweight division, stopping Mark Hunt with a vicious knee in the second. Overeem, a former UFC title contender will be looking to earn another title shot by defeating the risky Hunt.