UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley retained his belt after fighting to a majority draw with Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson on Saturday night in the UFC 205 co-main event. The bout was originally announced as a Majority Decision, but was later changed to a Majority Draw, apparently when a New York State Athletic Commission staffer wrote the decision down incorrectly.
Woodley discussed the controversy during a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour.
“When the scorecards come back too slow, I know there is a split or controversy,” said Woodley, as transcribed by Adam Guillen Jr. for MMA Mania. “I saw that the lights went out, the mic went out, they were taking too long. I’m thinking, ‘Hey, are they trying to screw me here?’ Is something going on, is there poison in the water before I take a drink?
“I closed my eyes and praying to God, ‘Do not let them take this fight from me.’ Then they said, ‘And still!’ I expected that, but you just don’t know. I turn around, I see Dana walking toward me and I was like, I don’t know what my face said, but, we would have had a fight in there. If he would’ve reached for my belt, we would’ve had some problems. We wouldn’t have thrown hands, but, he was walking toward me and I didn’t know what he was fixing to do. But I said, ‘Hell no you are not fixing to do this right now, you are not taking my belt, this is not right.’ I thought the judges were going to say ‘Wonderboy’ won.”
“If fans only knew what we have to go through as competitors, athletes. It’s not always the same book, it’s not always the same set of rules for everybody. If you knew what I had to do to be at that point, to be focused and win that fight, and feel like you won that fight. A draw, I could have lost. One judge could’ve said it wasn’t a 10-8 round, and I could’ve been walking away without my belt.
“I was just confused, heartbroken, I thought I won. The draw at that moment felt like a loss because I thought I won. Not putting it on anybody, but I thought individuals in general didn’t want to see me win and they were trying to do everything to take my moment from me.”
UFC president Dana White indicated that a rematch is in order, but Woodley was non-committal, because he feels he won, and because he is confident that had Wonderboy gotten the decision, there would be no rematch.
Woodley was also not impressed when the UFC asked for his belt, so that Conor McGregor could have the two he was bellowing for. Woodley said he loved UFC VP Reed Harris, who asked, and so gave the belt up. But that meant he did not get to take his pictures backstage after the event.
“I was just frustrated at that current moment that they needed it because I needed to take my pictures, the pictures you take backstage after you win,” said Woodley. “I wasn’t able to do those pictures because they wanted me to take them without my belt. And it will be a cold day in hell before I take any other picture without the belt or come out of the blue corner again. So, no, I didn’t get to take those pictures because that moment was going on.”