A hugely important welterweight co-main event in Vancouver pitted British Columbia native Rory MacDonald against the surging Tyron Woodley at UFC 174.
The co-main event of UFC 174
had big welterweight title implications on the line, as Rory MacDonald
fought in front of his fellow BC brethren against rising contender Tyron Woodley
Chants of "Let's go Rory" came through loud and clear inside Rogers Arena in Vancouver to start round 1. The wrestling game was a stalemate as Rory defended takedowns well, and the one time he was taken down he sprung back up. Both men threw plenty of body kicks, but the edge in boxing was clearly MacDonald's, who worked in some solid combinations towards the end of the round.
Woodley found some success in the 2nd round with leg kicks, but he was constantly on the backfoot near the cage, with MacDonald standing in front of him and pressuring him. He picked Woodley apart with punches and kicks and stifled any sort of sustainable offense. Woodley had no answer for Rory's jab and was all too predictable in his stand-up.
Round 3 started with Woodley swinging for the fences, but only for about a half-minute. MacDonald not only controlled the pace and action, but he added insult to further insult by taking the perceived superior wrestler down. He ended the fight passing his guard and gaining full mount. Rory poured on the punishment at the very end by trapping his left arm and battering him with unanswered punches right up until the horn sounded. A truly dominant performance by Rory MacDonald.
Official Decision: Rory MacDonald def. Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
MacDonald (16-2) gets his 3rd win over a top 10 opponent in less than a year, with victories over Demian Maia and Jake Ellenberger also on his list of victims. Woodley (13-3) drops to 3-2 in the UFC in what was an offensively impotent showing for him.
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