Top-5 welterweights were on display at UFC 217 as the #2 Stephen Thompson went to war with the #4 ranked Jorge Masvidal, to see who would be climbing the 170-pound ladder and position themselves in title contention. These welterweights went the distance, exchanging strikes for pretty much the entire fight, and when it was all said and done, it was Thompson who walked away with the decision.
Stephen Thompson def. Jorge Masvidal by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27 x2): Welterweight
Thompson was quick to take the center of the Octagon, backing Masvidal up to the cage. The fast hands of Thompson were on displayed as he would blitz Masvidal periodically with three-punch flurries, but that only prompted Masvidal to press forward. Masvidal landed some solid leg kicks, but it might not have been enough to take the opening round.
Masvidal shot an early takedown in the second round, and used the opportunity to throw a big flurry, although most of the strikes did not connect. Thompson caught his opponent slipping, and dropped Masvidal with a cracking cross. Masvidal recovered instantly, and returned to his feet, just to get out-slicked some more in the striking department. A brilliant left hook plus some hard leg kicks connected for Masvidal, but again, it didn’t appear to be enough to win the round.
Masvidal opened up the final round with an unsuccessful takedown attempt, but found himself in range to deal out a bit more punishment to the leg of his opponent. Thompson continued to land with the hands, as Masvidal became more aggressive, moving forward with more urgency as the round came to an end. When the dust settled, it was Thompson who walked away with the decision victory.
Watch these warriors exchange:
Check out this knockdown from Wonderboy: