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UFC 205: Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson preview



The UFC Welterweight Championship is on the line, as Tyron Woodley will put his belt on the line in his first title defense since knocking Robbie Lawler out to become the champion. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson has been on a tear, and forced the UFC to give him a shot at the crown by winning seven fights in a row, and doing so with spectacular standup.

The UFC Champion I think has a chip on his shoulder. He’s seen as an underdog in his first title defense, and it is possible he’s feeling somewhat disrespected. Woodley has beaten the very best in the division including Lawler, Carlos Condit and Kelvin Gastelum among others. He has heavy hands, and solid wrestling. He also has good cardio and a ton of athleticism. He has every opportunity to win this fight, and his ability to close distance makes him a dangerous opponent for Thompson. He can close distance and get off with his hands, as well as close distance and try to work for a clinch or takedowns. If his gameplan is to stand and exchange with “Wonderboy”, might as well hand the belt over now.

Stephen Thompson is great at distancing himself from his opponent. He creates angles that make his unique striking, very dangerous. An important facet of his game is keeping the proper distance, so, facing someone so adept in closing distance offers a potential unique challenge. Wonderboy put on perhaps the most amazing striking display when he took out Johny Hendricks. That said, this is a kid that stopped, Hendricks, Jake Ellenberger, and Robert Whitaker all in the first round. He showed amazing skills in defeating Rory MacDonald at UFC Fight Night 89.

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I love this fight, it has the added suspense of both guys having the ability to close the show on a moment’s notice. You have to expect this one won’t go the distance. I like Woodley, a lot, but I feel like he might be at a big disadvantage, and if he can not get to the mat, he’s going to get picked apart. Like most of the amazing fights on this card, this one is a tough one to pick. That said, I think the Title changes hands, and Stephen Thompson wins this one by TKO in the late rounds.

Dan has been writing about the sport of MMA for the last 15+ years. During this time, he's met amazing fighters, and awesome friends sitting cage-side covering MMA. The memories and relationships are payment for his passion. Dan got his start as a featured writer for and now serves as owner and co-host with Evan Shoman and Dion Harrison of The Crimson Canvas Podcast, on the Fight Booth Podcast network. Dan is also a part time contributor to with pro wrestling, and MMA articles. He thanks Dave Reno for the opportunity and for years of friendship and support.

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