Tyron Woodley edged out Kelvin Gastelum by split decision tonight at UFC 183 in an at times underwhelming fight that’s unlikely to live long in the memory.
High right kick from Woodley to start. Right hand from him too after a momentarily lull. A minute in and both men are just moving around each other.
Gastelum unleashes a few punches that come up short. He gets glanced with a counter as he comes in again. Gastelum with a body kick now.
Crowd starts to get restless early here as neither fighter are engaging too often at this stage. Suddenly Gastelum starts to pick up the pace with harder strikes, some of which are finding a home. Left hand lands for him. Both men kick at the same time. Gastelum pressuring his opponent and Woodley’s in his shell a little bit which has been a problem for him in the past.
Nice counter right from Woodley now. Gastelum starting to look a little lighter on his feet as he warms to the fight. More boos ringing out from the crowd as the action slows towards the end of the round.
Gastelum flicks out a couple of high kicks. Front kick now and then slips, but recovers. Woodley still looking hesitant. Gastelum gets caught with an eye poke and signals for a stoppage which the ref agrees too.
Back to it they go. Woodley with a right hand and body kick as he shows a little more urgency. Gastelum with a body kick of his own. He lands a couple of punches and doubles up on a leg kick.
Gastelum coming forward and gets tagged with a punch from Woodley and another that wobbles him, but he recovers quickly.
Woodley with a couple of leg kicks that make a good impact. Gastelum fires back though. Counter right from Woodley lands.
Gastelum back to landing a few leg kicks of his own now. Gastelum still taking the lead in the pressure game as Woodley really looks to pick his shots. He connects with a right hand and Gastelum moves into the clinch and lands a few knees. Woodley spins him around as the bell sounds. Not too much action there, but when he did land offense it was Woodley who was making the bigger impression.
Gastelum pushing forward as Woodley targets the body. Gastelum looks to exchange and gets caught with a counter from Woodley.
Again he gets caught as he tries to let his hands go. Left hands connect for Gastelum. as he tries to turn up the heat. Woodley keeping him at bay a little with kicks.
Gastelum resets. He throws a left, a right and a knee to the midsection. He tries a light high kick followed by a punch and then again.
Kick from Woodley pushes Gastelum back. Gastelum keeps coming forward though and throws punches to work into the clinch, but breaks apart again soon after.
Right hand for Woodley. He connects with a few punches. 90 seconds to go now. Gastelum just short with more offense. A couple of kicks now.
Woodley ties him up in the clinch against the cage. Gastelum reverses with 30 seconds to go. They jockey back and forth for position. 10 seconds and Gastelum throws a series of left and rights which Woodley responds to with a takedown attempt, but they stay upright as the fight ends.
Not the most exciting fight here, but despite lacking urgency at times Woodley landed the bigger shots over the course of three rounds which is enough to earn him a split decision win (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).