This Saturday, UFC 209 will feature the UFC Welterweight Champion “The Chosen One” Tyron Woodley vs Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in the Main Event. In the last preview, it highlighted the back story behind the upcoming fight. In this post , it will look at the keys to victory for both fighters and a final prediction of who will be the winner.
In their last fight, Woodley landed the most damage and was very close to finishing Thompson. Although Thompson would continue to fight to a draw, Woodley will go into this fight knowing he can knock Thompson out. Also Woodley was able to wrestle Thompson down. So here is the Keys to victory:
Key #1:Look for the Takedown
In their last fight in the 1st Round, Thompson was backing Woodley up to the cage. When Thompson went for a leg kick, Woodley was able to take the hit and grab the leg to take Thompson down. Woodley is the superior wrestler and has to look for these moments to take Thompson down. Thompson likes to throw kicks, so Woodley needs to be able to telegraph it and get Thompson off balance for a takedown. This will make Thompson second guess throwing kicks and help neutralize one of Thompson greatest ability.
Key # 2: Feint the Takdown
What was missing from Woodley’s fight with Thompson was the threat of the takedown. Woodley would stand up with Thompson majority of the fight, which plays more to the strength of Thompson. With step #1 being to look for the takedown, step #2 is the effects of that. Woodley needs to feint the takedown to keep Thompson guessing. Woodley has shown to be able to take Thompson down, So with Woodley feinting the takedown it opens up opportunities to catch Thompson by surprise and land his punches.
Key# 3:Keep the back off the cage
Thompson is the most dangerous when his opponent is backed against the cage. Woodley needs to keep his back off the cage and get Thompson to back up. When they fought, Woodley would let Thompson move forward and back him against the cage. Thompson was able to land his strikes better and score points. Woodley needs to keep circling the cage and not put himself in a dangerous spot with his back against the cage.
Thompson could have won the first fight, if it wasn’t for the fourth round. If someone was watch the entire fight besides the fourth round, it quite possible they would think Thompson edged Woodley on the score card. Thompson did some things well in their first fight, but here is what he needs to do in the rematch.
Key #1: Block the Takedown
Something that Woodley may look to do more is taking Thompson down and do damage from the ground with his strikes. Thompson would throw leg kicks, but Woodley would only capitalize and take Thompson down once. Although, It was fairly easy and gave Woodley the opportunity to do some ground and pound. Thompson needs to block the Takedown and make Woodley lose some confidence in being able to wrestle Thompson. Also in grappling exchanges, Thompson should throw knees to the body.
Key #2: Keep Woodley backing up
Thompson was doing very good in making Woodley back up against the cage and needs to do the same in this fight. Thompson was able to land his strikes and score points on the score card. Woodley is less effective when he is backing up and Thompson could use his range to pick Woodley apart.
Key #3:Mix up the Strikes
In their last fight , their was very few combinations thrown by Thompson. Thompson didn’t really set up his kicks as much and Woodley will try to capitalize, especially the low kicks. Thompson should expect that Woodley will try to take him down,By using his kicks take him off balance. Thompson needs to throw more combinations to keep Woodley guessing and make it easier to set up his kicks. Thompson should also look to throw kicks to the body and take the energy out of Woodley. By mixing his strikes, it makes Thompson even more dangerous on the feet.
Final Prediction: Expect whoever to win this fight, to win decisively. Both fighters know what the other can do and would make adjustments to their game plan. The biggest factor of the fight is Woodley being able to take Thompson down. Thompson has to block the Takedown and if he was get took down, Thompson has to quickly get back up. Woodley also has to avoid putting his back to the cage and put pressure on Thompson, to push Thompson back against the cage. I expect Woodley to be more aggressive and put pressure on Thompson, by moving forward. If the fight goes 5 rounds, Thompson could end up the new Welterweight Champion. However, I see Woodley finishing Thompson by TKO.
Woodley wins via TKO.