After battling to Tyron Woodley to a majority draw in the welterweight championship co-headliner at UFC 205, Stephen Thompson wants some closure.
“I thought that I did enough to finish out that last round and get the draw,” Thompson said. “Of course, I’d rather have the win, but it is what it is. We both went out there and fought our hearts out. I hope we can do it again.
“Nothing else would interest me. I want the rematch. I don’t want anything but the rematch.”
Woodley got off to a quick start in the opening stanza, as he took Thompson down and bloodied his opponent with a short elbow from top position. “Wonderboy” was unfazed, however, and he took the next two frames by keeping the champion at bay with kicks and left hands.
Woodley very nearly ended the contest in round four when he dropped Thompson with a right hand and swarmed for the finish. Thompson returned to his feet, and Woodley shifted gears, locking his adversary into a tight guillotine choke. Somehow, the South Carolina native survived and ended the frame landing ground-and-pound from above. Thompson recovered enough to take the final round, as he kept Woodley at bay for much of the stanza with crisp counters.
Woodley later conceded that going for the submission attempt when he had Thompson reeling might have been a mistake.
“I could’ve pressed him more, but I feel like the only significant damage in the fight was done by me,” Woodley said. “I should’ve created a little more distance when I rocked him so I could land more shots and end it. I went for the guillotine and feel like that was a bad decision.
“Even then, I thought that was close to a 10-8 round. I don’t agree with the draw. I thought I won, but he’s a tough kid, and it was a great fight.”
There was briefly some confusion when ring announcer Bruce Buffer revealed the final tally and initially announced the verdict as a split-decision triumph for Woodley. Moments later, the error was corrected in the cage.
“I think what happened was they were trying to make sure the scores were totaled right You don’t want to mess that up,” UFC President Dana White said. “…I actually had it even going into the fifth round. But my opinion doesn’t mean sh—t.”
While he doesn’t usually relish hypothetical matchmaking after an event, White admitted that another go-round between Woodley and Thompson is the most logical booking in the welterweight division.
“You rematch it. It was a draw,” he said. “The fight was ridiculous, it was a ‘Fight of the Night.’ Do it again.”