EXCLUSIVE | Stephen Thompson reflects on fight with Tyron Woodley

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Earlier this month, top ranked welterweight contender Stephen Thompson stepped into the Octagon with welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in the co-main event of UFC 205 for a highly anticipated showdown.

The fight was an extremely close one, with many scoring the fight three rounds to two in Thompson’s favor, but giving Woodley a 10-8 round in the fourth round. This ultimately led to the fight being scored a majority draw, with Woodley retaining his welterweight championship.

Following the fight, UFC President Dana White revealed that a rematch was the next logical step for both men, however no official date has been given for a potential rematch.

Thompson recently joined BJPenn.com’s Rapid Fire to discus the fight, saying:

“Well you know, we knew he was going to be a very powerful guy. We knew that he could knock you out from the first-round to the final round. With that said, he does slow down as the fight goes on. But he does a great job of picking his shots. I didn’t really expect him to be that strong. I noticed it right away in the first-round. Dang if he didn’t catch my foot and take me down. But he just felt really strong and had a good base. Of course a lot of wrestlers have that good base and are really strong on the top, but I didn’t expect him to be THAT strong. Of course going in to the fight, just a few weeks before, I was walking around at a very light weight. I think around 182-pounds. When we do it again, I think that I will walk around at a heavier weight so that way I am stronger and bigger in the octagon next time. So I think that did play a part in my performance. Especially in the clinch position, he felt very strong. I felt that I was much faster than him, but for some reason in the fourth-round I felt really flat. I mean I saw his punches coming, but I just did not react to them. I was like ‘Maybe I should block these with my face’.” Thompson said laughing.

“No I am kidding but that is what happened. I saw it coming but I didn’t move. I just didn’t react to it. But he did exactly what we expected him to do and he just ended up landing those shots in the fourth. So we will make some changes for that the next time we step out there in the octagon.”

“There was a lot of things that I could have done a whole lot better. I definitely didn’t throw my entire arsenal out there. I was very hesitant because of how strong he was. I did not want to get back in the clinch position with him. So I just kind of kept him at bay. I could have thrown a lot more kicks than I did, you know like I am used to doing. I was definitely a lot more reserved in that fight then I should have been.”

In terms of scoring for the fight, some have even stated that Woodley should have been given the third round on the judges scorecards as well, the way Thompson sees it, that isn’t the case:

“No I don’t think he won round three at all. When I looked back at the fight, and from what everyone told me, I won rounds two, three and five. The first was definitely him. The fourth was definitely him, even though I ended up on top, he definitely had the bigger shots, the knockdown and then the guillotine. But I thought I won the second, third and fifth-round. That was my opinion of the fight. “