As any longtime MMA fan can tell you, however, close apparently counts in title fights, as well. Tyron Woodley’s title reign so far in the welterweight division is a testament to that fact, as he now has a draw and a majority decision victory to his name, both against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
This time around, Thompson can’t be feeling too good about the effort he put in against Woodley. After all, the second round was perhaps the closest round of the bout, and it was marked by long periods of inactivity. Thompson only won that round on one scorecard, and it was Sal D’Amato’s. Well, D’Amato scored the fight a draw. If Thompson gives a stronger showing in round two and wins the round on the other two cards, he wins the fight by a majority decision, bolstered by two 48-47 scorecards in his favor.
Instead, he was too complacent throughout the fight and though sure, it was close enough that he can gripe about getting a raw deal, he should know that he certainly didn’t do everything possible in order to win. And that, after all, is the only thing that a fighter can truly control.
While Woodley wasn’t a whole lot more active than Thompson, he made sure that when he did have his moments, he capitalized on them more than Thompson did, as he was able to do in the all-important fifth round. That’s why Woodley still has the belt and Thompson doesn’t, even if the fans aren’t too happy with either man right about now.
Beautiful Loser Award
Mark Hunt may have been knocked out, but he fought a hard fight (as he always does) and appeared to have Alistair Overeem in trouble in both the first and second rounds during their bout.
Movin’ On Up Award
Daniel Kelly was given a prime slot on the pay-per-view and a big name opponent in former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans. He made the best of the opportunity, defeating Evans by split decision and advancing his record to a gaudy 13-1 in the process. He’ll be ready for even bigger things in his next middleweight bout.
Holy $#!% Award
With apologies to Overeem, this has to go to Lando Vannata for his amazing cartwheel kick against David Teymur. It’s an unusual choice for this award, as it didn’t result in a knockout (or a knockdown, for that matter) and Vannata didn’t even go on to win the fight, but still. Pretty crazy stuff.