UFC’s welterweight title has been Tyron Woodley’s since July 2016. Since then, Woodley has gone on to defend the belt three times with another fight Woodley retained the belt because it was a draw.
That draw came at the hands of Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson who fought Woodley two times and also fought Darren Till.
Till defeated Thompson by unanimous decision while Woodley had a draw and a majority win against ‘Wonderboy’. But at UFC 228, many projected Till’s power to be too much for Woodley. Ultimately, Woodley defeated Till in the second-round via submission, a surprise to many.
“I didn’t expect Till to do what he did. Till, I think, only threw like a handful of strikes, maybe less,” said Thompson on BJPENN radio’s 100th episode. “And I think connected with one. I literally figured he was gonna come out being a little bit more aggressive than that. But when you fight Tyron, he brings that out of you. He makes it a little bit hesitant to throw anything just because that guy’s so explosive. And it only takes one hit. One hit to do damage; as you saw. The right hand he dropped Till with definitely wasn’t his hardest. It was almost like if you go back and watch the slow-mo, his eyes were basically closed, and he threw just a right hand, and it connected and dropped him. And from then on, it was over.”
Woodley definitely showed he was the better fighter on that given night and put on a spectacular performance. The welterweight king has been criticized by UFC President Dana White for his ‘boring’ fights’. While people have thought the UFC was wanting Till to win as he was going to be their next big star, something Thompson believes added motivation to Woodley.
“He had a chip on his shoulder and he wanted to prove not just to himself but to the UFC, and maybe to the fans a little bit, that this guy does not deserve to be in the Octagon with me right now,” added Thompson. “You know? And he said it himself. He doesn’t make weight in his last fight, gets a title shot from that, which is bullcrap. He’s gonna go out there and do work. So hat’s off to Tyron.”
Do you believe Woodley had a ‘chip on his shoulder’ at UFC 228?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/9/2018