Stephen Thompson (14-3-1 MMA) is very familiar with current UFC welterweight champion Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley.
“Wonderboy” has challenged Woodley for his welterweight title on two separate occasions, falling just short of claiming the promotions coveted 170-pound strap in both of those aforementioned attempts.
Thompson and “T-Wood” first met at UFC 205 in November of 2016. Thompson entered that contest on a seven-fight win streak which included knockout victories over Johny Hendricks, Jake Ellenberger and current middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.
Despite Thompson’s wave of momentum heading into his clash with Woodley at Madison Square Garden, “Wonderboy” utlimately came up short after twenty-five minutes of thrilling action as the judges in attendance ruled the contest a majority draw.
Thompson and Woodley would have an immediate rematch at UFC 209 in Las Vegas, but once again Tyron’s power, patience and wrestling proved enough to overcome the spectacular striking of “Wonderboy”.
Thompson, who is coming off a controversial decison loss to Darren Till last month in Liverpool, is excited to see his former nemesis Tyron Woodley take on newly crowned interim welterweight champion Colby Covington later this year.
“Wonderboy” recently sat down with BJPENN.com’s Chris Taylor where he heaped praise on the UFC’s brash new interim welterweight title holder Colby Covington.
“Well for one man, hats off to Colby Covington because he did a phenomenal job in that fight with Rafael dos Anjos. He is portraying himself as being the bad guy and he is doing a very good job of that. But yeah, he really did put on a show in Chicago and like you said that relentless pressure he brings. I mean his cardio is just ridiculous. So I thought that was very impressive from Colby, especially against someone as dangerous as RDA. I mean Rafael stayed in there and kept banging it out, but it was incredible to see the pace that Covington was able to keep. I thought he did awesome. I am definitely ranking him up there.”
Taylor asked Thompson who he believes will emerge victorious when bitter rivals Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley throw down later this year.
“I think that Tyron Woodley is going to be a more difficult fight for Colby. Tyron’s wrestling defense is really good. I believe Woodley is more powerful than Colby Covington. Woodley definitely is a bigger man than RDA. When Tyron hits you… Well it only takes one. He can end the fight with one punch, and there were definitely some holes I saw in Colby’s game. Of course I am studying these guys as I am watching because I will probably be fighting them in the near future. Colby has a tendency to duck his head every time he throws. So every time he swings his head would be facing down. As I watched that I just thought to myself man I could just see Tyron or any hard striker landing a good uppercut and just knocking him out right there. Now with that said, I think Colby does have a chance at winning if he can take the fight deep. Tyron has never been known as a guy who has great cardio. I think if Colby goes out there and plays it smart, you know keeps that constant pressure on him and avoids being knocked out, then I definitely think he could win it. But with someone as powerful as Woodley, who only needs to hit you one time to knock you out, it is not going to be easy. Woodley has a very good fight IQ, which is why he works as an analyst. I’m sure he will have a strong game plan for Colby. It’s a very interesting fight. Tyron has to be careful not to let Colby get under his skin. If he allows Covington to do that then he will likely come out guns blazing and hope for that knockout and it could lead to him getting tired. But Woodley is a smart guy and I’m sure he won’t let his emotions get the best of him. I would have to pick Tyron. Colby definitely has a chance. But just because I was impressed by his perfomance at UFC 225 doesn’t mean I like that guy,” Thomspon said laughing. “I hope Woodley wins.”
Who do you think will emerge the undispuited UFC welterweight champion when Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington throw down later this year? Sound off PENN Nation!