HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- In a battle between one of the welterweight division's top wrestlers and one of the welterweight division's hardest punchers, wrestling won out.Tyron Woodley
defeated Paul Daley
by unanimous decision, using his superior clinch game, takedowns and top control -- and surviving a tough onslaught from Daley in the fight's closing moments.
Early in the first round Woodley caught a Daley kick and clinched with him against the fence, but just when it looked like Woodley was going to take Daley down, Daley landed a knee to the groin that caused Woodley to pull away. The knee appeared to be intentional, but referee Big John McCarthy let him off with a warning, not a point deduction.
When the action re-started, Woodley was able to grab Daley in the clinch again, but he was never able to complete a takedown. Most of the round consisted of Woodley holding Daley against the fence, and although Woodley probably won the round, Daley had to feel good that Woodley couldn't complete the takedown.
At the start of the second round, it was more of the same, with Woodley holding Daley against the fence. But this time Woodley managed to complete the takedown and stay on top in Daley's guard. Woodley mostly stayed there without accomplishing much, and McCarthy finally stood them up with 20 seconds left in the round. Woodley won the round because he was in top control so long, but the fans were getting restless that there wasn't a whole lot of action.
Daley came out swinging in the third round, but within 30 seconds Woodley had put him on his back again. This time, however, Daley showed off some ground acumen, eventually getting himself into top position and hitting Woodley with some hard punches. Woodley was clearly hurt, but he managed to recover and get back on top of Daley in the closing seconds, concluding the fight on top in a fitting ending.
All three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Woodley, who improves his professional MMA record to 9-0. Daley falls to 27-11-2 with his second straight loss.