Though UFC 209 delivered some quality action, most viewers will have turned off their televisions afterwards feeling rather deflated.
Not only were fans left thinking about what might have been if Khabib Nurmagomedov had made it to the octagon to face Tony Ferguson for the UFC interim lightweight title, but the main event rematch between welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson failed miserably to live up to it’s exciting predecessor.
It was a tense affair but hopelessly devoid of any real action, with both men showing a reluctance to engage.
One can understand why the pair fought the way they did, but fans pay money to be entertained and few will say that they were thrilled by the bout, which Woodley won via majority decision.
It isn’t just the fans who have been slating the fight, however. Woodley and Thompson might have expected a little more understanding from their fellow fighters but that hasn’t proven the case.
Among the active scrappers who voiced their dissatisfaction with the contest was UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
Bisping then went even further, bizarrely suggesting that the fight filled him with confidence ahead of his own bout with former welterweight titlist Georges St-Pierre.
“If they’re the best welterweights in the world, then I should fuck up GSP,” said the Englishman. “That’s a fact. If they’re the best welterweights in the world then GSP is going to a funeral pretty quick.”
Asked by his interviewer if he supports Woodley’s claim to be the best ever at 170lbs, Bisping didn’t sound convinced.
“Best welterweight of all time? I like Tyron but all I saw there was 20 minutes of backing up,” said ‘The Count’. “You’ve got to go forwards to win a fight. It was a tactical fight, Tyron won, congratulations to him. Well done.”
Bisping wasn’t the only Brit to feel less than enthralled by Woodley’s performance, or the fight as a whole. Former UFC welterweight title challenger and current UFC analyst Dan Hardy also offered criticism. Although, he was more harsh in his delivery.
Worst welterweight title fight I've ever seen. Woodley owes the fans better performances. #UFC209
— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) March 5, 2017
During a famous confrontation a couple of months back, Bisping and Woodley verbally agreed to face-off in a catchweight contest, but the bout never materialized. Perhaps if he beats Georges St-Pierre later this year, Bisping will look to fulfill that agreement.
Although, for Yoel Romero’s sake, we hope that doesn’t happen.