Tyron Woodley defended his welterweight title for the third time in the UFC 214 co-main event at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday night against Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia.
In a lackluster affair, “The Chosen One” successfully defended all 23 unofficial takedown attempts from Maia, and that was essentially the story of the five-round fight. As expected, of course, Maia constantly tried to take Woodley down, and Woodley was superior on the feet. Since Woodley did so well defending takedowns, he racked up points on the feet, and won the fight because of that.
Woodley, however, was tentative throughout the bout, and the stylistically-bizarre matchup that comes along with fighting Maia didn’t help to make for an entertaining bout.
That said, Woodley did what he had to do, so props should be given to him for that. He didn’t care what the fans thought, he focused on counter fighting against his opponent and, of course, not getting taken down. And he succeeded.
Official result: Tyron Woodley def. Demian Maia via unanimous (50-45, 49-46, 49-46)
Woodley has defeated Stephen Thompson twice and now Maia since beating Robbie Lawler for the belt last summer. Maia hadn’t lost since he fought Rory MacDonald in 2014.
UFC 214 is headlined by Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones 2 for the light heavyweight title.