Tyron Woodley successfully defended his welterweight title this evening at UFC 214 in an uneventful fight with Demian Maia, who repeatedly failed in his attempts to take the fight to the mat.
The co-main event welterweight title fight is underway in Anaheim!
Woodley immediately moving on the outside. Maia feeling out with the jab and then goes for his first takedown of the fight. Tremendous balance from Woodley though and when Maia tries to adjust to his trip takedown, Woodley is up to that task as well and stays upright.
Woodley moves away and Maia already has damage to his left eye from an uppercut when he moved in for the takedown. Maia tries for another takedown and again it’s stuffed by the champion.
So far so good for Woodley, but after resetting Maia tries for his third takedown attempt and again it’s stuffed – but that time Woodley grabbed the cage and Maia complains. The ref agrees and warns Woodley.
Maia into the takedown again and it’s another fail for him. He needs to be careful not to burn himself out with these attempts.
Maia back to just feeling out with the jab. Woodley steps in with a right hand. Maia pacing himself here, but it’s only a matter of time before he goes back to the takedown.
Punch for Woodley. Maia shoots in, but it’s easily stuffed. Back to striking range they go. Nice left hand for Maia. Woodley misses with a one-two.
Uppercut for the champion. Maia pressing forward, but not looking like he’s going to throw anything particularly meaningful in these final few seconds.
Early straight right for Woodley. Now a leg kick. Left hand for Maia. Woodley lands a right and staggers Maia backwards onto the mat. Maia motions for Woodley to follow him to the mat, but the champ is having none of that and forces him to stand.
Maia trying to exchange on the feet now as Woodley starts to grow in confidence. He looks like he’s eager to strike now. Maia tries a low takedown, but Woodley steps out of it.
Soon after another takedown is stuffed and that must be disheartening for Maia, particularly as his left eye is badly swollen at this stage and he’s bleeding too.
Woodley flicks out the jab. Uppercut for Woodley as Maia’s latest takedown attempt is denied. Woodley firing out that big right hand at times, just out of range. He does connect to the body with it.
Maia lands a punch. Woodley presses forward with that right hand again, but Maia backs away from it. Final 10 seconds and there’s no further action. Maia walks back to his corner with swelling to both his eyes, with the left being particularly bad. He needs to get this fight to the mat, but at this stage it’s hard to see how he’s going to manage that.
First takedown of the third round inevitably fails for Maia. Counter right from Woodley just wings past Maia’s head. Body punch for Woodley.
Leg kick for Woodley. Short flurry soon afterwards, but Maia is backing up to take the sting out of it. Woodley pumps out the jab. He shakes his right hand out. Soon after Woodley does land a right hand.
Solid inside leg kick from Woodley. Not much happening right now and the crowd is booing. Straight left lands for Maia. Woodley coming forward and Maia connects with another left. Maia with the takedown attempt, but nope.
More boos from the crowd in the final minute of the round. Leg kick for Maia. Three punch combo from Woodley that Maia gets out of range from. Another leg kick from Maia. Chorus of boos as the round ends, but as things stand the champion is cruising to victory.
Woodley marauding forward, but the fact Maia keeps backing up makes it difficult for him to connect. He targets the body with a punch.
Maia’s latest attempt to get Woodley on his back fails. Maia gets Woodley’s back to the cage and then initiates his latest takedown attempt. Better showing from Maia this time, but Woodley stays composed and escapes nicely.
Big body punch for Woodley. Right hand grazes Maia’s face. He steps away from another takedown attempt. Woodley lands the right hand as Maia gets into range. Maia lands a leg kick.
Body punch for Woodley. Woodley with a big right-hand counter. Another punch flashes out and lands solidly. Maia trying to look busy without actually doing anything as the round ends.
Maia with an early double-leg and this time Woodley not only stuffs it, but is firing off some punches as he does so. big sprawl from Woodley to deny the challenger again.
A third attempt also meets with failure for Maia. And another. Left hand connects for Woodley as Maia also does so. Head kick attempt from Maia misses. Takedown fail.
Right hand for Woodley. Crowd very restless. Straight left for the Brazilian. Another double-leg denial. left hand snaps out for Maia.
One minute left. Woodley lands a jab. He lunges into a right hand. Left hand misses for Maia and he steps into one final takedown attempt and as you’ll no doubt have guessed, he didn’t land it.
Not the most exciting fight then, but thanks to Woodley’s excellent takedown defense and the occasional hard right hand he successfully defends his title by unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46 x2).