Last Saturday, in the main event of UFC 209, champion Tyron Woodley and challenger Stephen Thompson fought for the UFC welterweight title. Just like their first fight, which occurred back in November and ended with a majority draw, this one was very close, as Woodley walked away with a hotly contested majority decision win.
In the wake of this extremely close battle, Demian Maia, who is arguably the top contender in the UFC welterweight division, made an appearance on The MMA Hour and offered his scorecard for the fight. Contrary to the official decision, the Brazilian grappling specialist says he scored the fight for Wonderboy, and speculated that the judges were swayed by Woodley’s surge late in the fifth round.
“I think Wonderboy was winning 3-1 [heading into the last round], and he was supposed to keep going in the last round, and then he would win the fight,” Maia explained. “But the judges, they said it was 2-2 and those last seconds [of the fifth round] made all of the difference.”
“Yes,” Maia said, when asked to confirm that he scored the fight for Thompson.
Maia then touched on the complicated state of his career. Though he originally looked like the clear-cut next opponent for the winner of Woodley and Thompson’s rematch, he has instead been pencilled in for a fight with fellow contender Jorge Masvidal, meaning his long-awaited welterweight title shot is once again up in the air. This fact, he admitted, made UFC 209’s main event a little difficult to watch.
“You know, it is [difficult], but I need to just focus on my fight right now, like always” he said. “Sometimes, it’s just better keep your mind healthy. You don’t focus too much on a title fight, just focus on the next fight. That’s what I’m trying to do, because every time I was doing different before, I was losing my ability to fight well. I was not fighting so well when I was focused too much on the title.”
Do you think Demian Maia can defeat Jorge Masvidal to earn a shot at Tyron Woodley? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/6/2017.