Feb 27, 2017
Feb 27, 2017

UFC 209 Betting: Woodley vs. Thompson

UFC 209 Betting: Woodley vs. Thompson
On March 4th, the UFC returns to Las Vegas for the much-anticipated rematch pitting Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. After they fought to a draw at UFC 205 last year, we take a look at the betting odds to see who the markets suggest will win this time. Read on to find out.

For those who keep tabs on UFC goings on, the story of this fight rests in the rematch element. Going into UFC 205, with the focus on the Conor McGregor-Eddie Alvarez main event, the co-main between Woodley (2.10*) and Thompson (1.806*) didn’t get a whole lot of attention. That’s why the staggering performance (which earned fight of the night) caught so many off-guard.

The first fight was a war; a five-round slugfest that featured constant action, Woodley's flurries were matched by Thompson taking control for periods inbetween. Woodley managed to out-land Thompson as well as earning the fight’s only knockdown and takedown, but in the end, after the champion was erroneously announced the winner, the 47-47, 47-47, 48-47 final score was announced with an apologetic correction, making the fight a draw.

The rematch is a natural. Both fighters are on top of their game, the clash of styles is a fascinating one, the confusion at the end of the first fight no one was left on their seat and the UFC knew there was enough interest in the pairing to carry a card.

Analysing the betting odds

Tyron Woodley’s recent odds at Pinnacle:

Name (Date)

Open

Highest

Lowest

Close

Result

Stephen Thompson (11/12/2016)

2.71

2.87

2.43

2.80

Draw

Robbie Lawler (07/30/2016)

2.85

2.90

2.04

2.10

Win

Kelvin Gastelum (01/31/2015)

2.20

2.20

1.45

1.50

Win


Stephen Thompson’s recent odds at Pinnacle:

Name (Date)

Open

Highest

Lowest

Close

Result

Tyron Woodley (11/12/2016)

1.52

1.62

1.47

1.49

Draw

Rory MacDonald (06/18/2016)

1.85

2.15

1.85

1.97

Win

Johny Hendricks (02/06/2016)

3.30

3.40

2.85

3.40

Win

The first Woodley-Thompson fight was an unusual one in that the champion was a marked underdog. Thompson opened as the clear favourite and that feeling never wavered. It’s notable that in the wake of Woodley’s near win, he’s still the underdog, with Thompson opening at 1.89 and seeing his price become more-prohibitive as time has worn on.

Prior to UFC 205, Thompson’s markets were notable in the way they moved away from him late. Early movement brought his price against Hendricks down, but on the night of the fight, the movement was all Hendricks, and then against Rory MacDonald, Thompson’s price never moved beyond where it opened. It was the victory of MacDonald, who’d previously been marked as the heir to Georges St. Pierre divisional crown, that finally convinced bettors that Wonderboy is all man.

Tale of the tape

Tyron Woodley

Name

Stephen Thompson

5’9”

Height

6’0”

74”

Reach

75”

170 lbs

Weight

170 lbs

16-3-1

Record

13-1-1

6

Wins by KO

7

5

Wins by Sub

1

1

Losses by KO

0

0

Losses by sub

0


The match-up

The match-up in this fight is a study in diametrical opposition; the explosive, compact, well-rounded wrestler in Woodley versus the tall, lanky karate specialist-Thompson. It’s the kind of pairing one couldn’t see in organised fighting prior to the UFC and the kind that makes the sport so fascinating. Figuring out what style wins out is a wonderful puzzle.

The first Woodley-Thompson fight was an unusual one in that the champion was a marked underdog. It’s notable that in the wake of Woodley’s near win, he’s still the underdog.

The first fight clearly gives us a blueprint. For the most part, Thompson was the one controlling things, using his range to keep Woodley on his heels and landing well with his famed kicks, except for in those moments where Woodley’s explosiveness reigned. Those Thompson kicks set Woodley up for the lone takedown of the fight.

Looking at the metrics, the gap in styles is no less pronounced. Woodley prefers to keep his distance, only landing 2.55 SLpM while absorbing 2.56 strikes per minute. Thompson, meanwhile, lands 4.06 SLpM to a 2.75 SApM - beating opponents with superior technical skill, if a little less power in his fists (note, the legs are plenty powerful). 

On the ground, the advantage is Woodley’s. He’s the more likely of the two to attempt the takedown and to prevent the opponent’s and his wrestling skill against Thompson’s takedown prevention (78%) might ultimately be the deciding factor in this one. If Woodley can get the challenger off his feet, it’s a good thing.

Who will win?

If the answer were an easy one, we wouldn’t have a reason for a rematch, would we? Bettors seem to love Thompson (1.806*), who hasn’t lost in a half-decade since learning some tough lessons at Matt brown’s hands - Thompson was transitioning from Kickboxing to MMA. Despite Woodley having had a strong edge in the numbers and a small edge on scorecards in the first fight, Thomson’s still being bet as the favourite.

Does that mean Woodley is the good bet right now? Maybe not. A technical fighter like Thompson may be able to use the footage from the first fight to plug the holes that kept it so close. If that’s the case, a Thompson bet could certainly make sense. If, however, you don’t think Wonderboy can contain Woodley’s explosiveness for 25 minutes, Woodley (2.10*) certainly has his arguments. Either way, it’s bound to be a great fight you can't afford to miss.

Get into the betting action with Pinnacle’s unbeatable UFC 209 odds.

Odds subject to change

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