Thompson vs. Woodley Pick
Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson settle the score following a draw in their first bout when the two collide in the main event of UFC 209 tonight.
Tonight’s bout will be for the UFC Welterweight Championship, as Woodley (16-3-1) defends his title against Thompson (13-1-1). According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Thompson is actually the slight favorite to win, as he is listed with odds of -160 to win, while the champion Woodley has +130 odds. These two will meet in the main event of UFC 209, which takes place from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs tonight live on PPV, starting at 10PM ET.
The 1 draw for both men came back on Nov. 12 when the two fought to a majority draw in the co-main event of UFC 205. 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. Woodley actually was declared the winner on one scorecard while two others saw the fight as even.
Woodley is a powerful striker with a good wrestling base. His strength is overwhelming opponents early with his power, as he did against the former champion Robbie Lawler. Thompson is also a skilled striker, using more of a karate style, with many unorthodox kicks. Thompson is a little more measured with his striking, as he looks for precision over power. However, his kicks can do a great deal of damage, as he has seven KO finishes in his career.
Obviously these two were evenly matched in the first meeting. Woodley nearly finished Thompson, but I think that was the only reason he was in the fight. Thompson out-pointed him for three of the five rounds, but the 10-8 score in the first led to a draw. Thompson has more diverse skills, he just has to survive that early flurry. Woodley has a good chance to finish the fight in the first, but if he doesn’t, I think there should be a problem for him. Look for Thompson to fight conservative early and then turn it on late and win the championship.
UFC 209 FREE PICK: STEPHEN THOMPSON -160