UFC 209 Play: Stephen Thompson (-170) vs. Tyron Woodley (+150)

Stephen Thompson vs. Tyron WoodleyUFC 209 Date: March 4, 2017 Arena: T-Mobile Arena City: Las Vegas, NV Welterweight title bout: Stephen Thompson (-170) vs. Tyron Woodley (+150) Fight Breakdown: The main event for UFC 209 is a five-round main event title rematch between the defending champion Tyron Woodley and the challenger Stephen Thompson. The pair fought to a draw in their first meeting at UFC 205 back in November of last year. The rematch is set for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this Saturday night, with Woodley a +150 ($100 to win $150) betting underdog heading into the contest and Thompson again favored to win at -170 ($170 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers. Tyron “T-Wood” Woodley (16-3-1 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC) is an NCAA Division I wrestler from the University of Missouri, and he is very talented on the mat. Woodley has great takedowns and is explosive with them. He a has good double-leg, works a great body-lock and has a nice inside trip. His defensive grappling is also solid, as he has phenomenal takedown defense and good submission defense. “T-Wood” has evolved into a solid striker, and he is very explosive on the feet. He has showed improvements in his boxing from fight to fight, especially his boxing. The champ is incredibly powerful and packs serious heat behind every strike. Every punch he throws is powerful, as is every leg kick. Woodley uses his hands well from a distance, given he is not at a reach disadvantage, but he is also great at dirty boxing from close distance. He is very strong inside the clinch, from which position he loves to employ his devastating knees. His conditioning is not the best, but it is very good considering his size, muscle tone and general body frame. He also generally does a decent job of conserving his gas tank. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (13-1-1 MMA, 8-1-1 UFC) is a phenomenal striker who comes from a karate background. He tends to leave his hands down while striking, which leaves his chin open, and that allowed Woodley to capitalize and hurt him in their initial meeting. The bout went to a draw that evening, and Thompson dodged defeat. His lone career loss came via unanimous decision against Matt Brown in his second UFC appearance. That was a very strange fight because both fighters — who are known for their cardio — gassed terribly early on in the fight and battled it out until the final bell. Thompson noted that he had an uncanny experience of fatigue setting in and losing power in his legs right after throwing his first kick early in the first round of action. Ultimately, he blamed it on over-training and started preparing for future fights differently. Since then, he has displayed great cardio, as was evident in the first Woodley bout, where he went five full rounds after being nearly knocked out and choked unconscious. Gabe’s Thoughts: Woodley’s boxing will be sharp, but the karate will make the difference on Saturday night. Gabe’s Call: Thompson by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Thompson (-170)

Written by Gabe Killian

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