At UFC 205, the outfit's New York City debut at Madison Square Garden, the matchup between welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson ended on a surreal note when the fight, originally declared a victory for Woodley, was corrected to a majority draw. The fight didn't solidify either contender atop the division in the UFC rankings and prompted the promotion to schedule a rematch at UFC 209 in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena.
On Saturday, their second go-round opened with shades of their first: Thompson controlling the center as Woodley circled on the outside, his back almost against the cage. Both fighters were tentative in the first round, landing a combined six significant strikes.
This trend carried through the second round, but early in the third Woodley was able to land a takedown on Thompson. From the top position Woodley worked his oponent's body with his left hand and ate some knees when he eventually worked his way back to his feet.
In the waning minute of the fifth and final round, Woodley dropped Thompson with a big right hand and was unloading on him, looking to finish him off. Referee John McCarthy didn't stop the fight, allowing Thompson to get back to his feet and to attempt to circle away to avoid danger in the final seconds to put the fight in the hands of the judges.
One judge scored it a draw, the other two scored it in favor of Woodley giving him the majority decision and his claim to the title belt.