Stephen Thompson gives his take on the Tyron Woodley-Demian Maia title fight.
With his seventh consecutive win at UFC 211 against Jorge Masvidal, Demian Maia was promised a title shot against current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. It is a style-specific matchup that Woodley himself is not looking forward to preparing for.
But according to Stephen Thompson, “The Chosen One” may have a good chance against Maia. In a recent interview with Submission Radio, Wonderboy spoke about Woodley’s takedown defense, based on the two times they had fought each other.
“Tyron is a very strong opponent,” Thompson said. “I mean, he’s proven he can go five five-minute rounds. But man, if Demian Maia gets a hold of him, it’s gonna be a rough night for Tyron. But I do believe that Tyron can send him off of those takedowns. He’s such a powerful guy, great wrestling, good takedown defense. Demian is definitely gonna have a hard time getting Tyron down, and that’s where the whole debacle is gonna be.”
“It could be a stand-up fight. I don’t know if Demian could get Tyron down or not. Maybe he can control him against the cage, but he’s so explosive and so powerful, I think Demian is gonna have a very hard time doing that. And plus, you’ve seen in the past with Demian in the later rounds he gets tired ‘cause he tries so hard to get his opponents down. And you saw the Demian Maia fight, even when he fought Matt Brown, the last round he was just done, you know, it took one hundred percent of him to try and get him down.”
“But that’s a very interesting fight, a very interesting fight and a great fight for both guys,” he continued. “But man, they both have the potential to win, but I don’t know. I don’t think Demian will take him down.”
Thompson suffered a knee injury during his rematch with Woodley at UFC 209, which he had a successful surgery on. Now in recuperation, he is eyeing for a September return, likely against Masvidal.
“Oh yes, definitely, definitely. He’s willing to fight,” Thompson said of Masvidal. “I know that he had mentioned something on twitter and I answered back, ‘yeah man, I would love to fight you once this knee heals up,’ which is the truth. I wanna fight the best guys.”
“He went three fight-minute rounds with one of the best in the division – and to be honest with you, I thought he won the fight – but it didn’t go his way, but I think we would put on a good show. He’s a tough opponent, good striking, good Muay Thai and I think it would just be fireworks.”