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Morning Report: Stephen Thompson believes the fans booing Tyron Woodley is 'in his head a little bit'

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Almost immediately after he won the belt from Robbie Lawler at UFC 201, Tyron Woodley began fielding questions about his first title defense, including one that night from presumptive No. 1 contender Stephen Thompson, who on the post-fight show asked Woodley about a title fight in late 2016. Woodley's answer became a major talking point when he told "Wonderboy" that he should go fight Lawler because Thompson predicted Lawler would beat Woodley. In the aftermath, Woodley began to attract a lot of heat from fans for his disinterest in a Thompson fight in favor of a Georges St-Pierre or Nick Diaz "money fight." Disgruntled fans even bequeathed a new moniker on the the champion: "The Choosey One," a play off of his nom de guerre "The Chosen One."

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Tyron Woodley announced that Thompson would get the first crack at Woodley's 170-pound championship at UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Shortly afterwards, it was announced that the Woodley-Thompson fight would be the co-main event to the Eddie Alvarez vs. Conor McGregor lightweight championship fight. Then last week, a press conference was held. For the most part, the presser was the Conor McGregor show but there was a very pointed incident where, when Woodley was asked a question, he had to wait for the raucous booing to die down before he could answer.

This past weekend, Thompson spoke to Submission Radio about that press conference and how his interactions with Woodley were during the event. Before the event, Woodley had made some remarks about not respecting Thompson  "as a man" but Thompson says that things were normal with Woodley at the presser, aside from the booing.

"Yeah, everything was cool during last week, during the media. We were talking to each other, shaking hands. Like I said, it might have been like a scare tactic or something he was trying to do to get in my head. And obviously I let him know real quick it's not gonna work. And looking in his eyes, I don't know if there was a little disappointment there that I saw. I figured that he might've thought that the fans maybe would've had his back. He was a little surprised that they were booing him and I could tell that, and I think that's in his head a little bit."

Thompson had his own standout moment at the press conference but his was of a much lighter variety. Thompson was sitting right next to McGregor and during one of the particularly heated exchanges between the featherweight champion and Alvarez, Thompson grabbed the can of Monster energy drink and the water bottle from in front of McGregor, a call back to McGregor's pre-fight press conference with Nate Diaz where McGregor and Diaz began launching drinks at each other across a crowded room. And while it was a quality joke, Thompson says it had a tinge of seriousness to it as well.

"Exactly. I didn't want to give him the ammo to start throwing it (laughs). Cause I remember last time, he just picked up a bottle and just threw it, man. So I know if he starts throwing, Eddie's gonna start throwing and then next thing you know, Dana White just reaches over and takes the can away from him. I thought that was hilarious. It was nuts man, it was nuts."

As for how he sees the fight playing out, "Wonderboy" says he believes Rory MacDonald is a tougher opponent but that he is still treating Woodley as if he's the most dangerous guy he has ever fought.

"If you look back at his fights, he doesn't throw a double or go for the takedown very often. Tyron wants to put those hands on you and wants to try and knock you out. I think once he gets a little frustrated, obviously he's gonna try and do that, just like everybody else that I've faced.

"I think pretty much the hardest opponent in the division is Rory MacDonald. I mean, Rory pretty much schooled Tyron Woodley. But I can't take this guy lightly and that's how I go in looking at this fight. A lot of people are like, ‘oh man, you're gonna crush this dude and Tyron Woodley, he smoked him' and you know what, I don't think like that. I'm not the type of guy to do that. Because I want to prepare for the best guy, and that's Tyron Woodley. That's the guy standing in front of me. I'm preparing myself as if this is going to be the hardest fight that I have ever faced - and it possibly could be. I want to be ready for five, five-minute rounds."

Thompson won a one-sided unanimous decision over MacDonald in June to cement himself as the No. 1 contender. He faces Woodley for the UFC welterweight championship on Nov. 12th at UFC 205 in New York.

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EXTRA CREDIT READING

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Split decision. Jack Slack on Lineker-Dodson and the art of circling out of wild pressure.

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MEDIA STEW

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Bisping's asking if he brings the belt is kind of incredible.

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Free Fights!

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Oh Ken.

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Tommy Toe Hold.

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LISTEN UP

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Yves Edwards shows up and they discuss 185 if Hendo wins and retires. I'd love a 16-man tourney.

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TFATK

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Severe MMA.

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TWEETS

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It appears Cody hasn't gotten the offer just yet.

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DC ready for 206 apparently.

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Would watch.

Wow, this would be a Super Fight for the fans! Anything can happen in #mma Dan Henderson is fighting Michael Bisping why not give fans another fight they want... #Repost @fight_talks ・・・ ⚡️One of our followers @norealalex sent me a direct message. I liked his thoughts about Aldo's next fight and decided to post it to my MMA community. Repost this if you want to see Aldo vs Pettis this year! *************************************** "After his confident victory again Edgar, Jose Aldo put himself in position for a rematch with Conor McGregor. However, UFC has its plans on Conor who will face off Alvarez in NYC this November. In this situation, the worst case for Aldo, and his fans will be relying on the worthless interim belt and waiting for moody UFC and Conor who hold featherweight in limbo. Instead, the former champion can fight Antony "Showtime" Pettis, who's had his last fight in the featherweight division. Many fans want to see the super fight between Aldo and Pettis, which will be a defining moment and will undoubtedly bring Aldo closer to the rematch with Conor." Use #aldovspettis, repost. @showtimepettis @sergiopettis @josealdojunioroficial @dukeroufus @joerogan @mma_nerds @mma_anonymous #pettis #aldo #connormcgregor #mcgregor #thenotoriousmma #thenotorious #diaz #boxing #muaythai #mmafighter #brasilmma #ufcbrasil #showtimepettis #ko #tko #choke #streetfight #thaiboxing #bjjfun #bjjgirls #nogi #gi #cmpunk #teampettis

A photo posted by Duke Roufus (@dukeroufus) on 

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Finding that pre-camp groove. @sixgungibson @jacksonwink_mma @jacksonsmma #thegroovyking #era #isnow

A video posted by Lando Vannata (@groovylando) on 

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That is old school Chute Boxe levels of hard men.

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All smiles running the streets of Manchester earlier with @parilloboxing @myproteinuk

A photo posted by Mikebisping (@mikebisping) on 

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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Paul Daley (38-14-2) vs. Derek Anderson (14-2-0, 1 NC)Bellator 163, November 4.

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TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

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2001: WEC held their second ever event which was headlined by Gan McGee knocking out Ron Faircloth in 12 seconds.

2014: For the third time ever, the UFC ran two events on the same day, UFC Fight Night 53 and UFC Fight Night 54. Fight Night 53 was headlined by Rick Story winning a split decision over Gunnar Nelson and Fight Night 54 was headlined by Rory MacDonald stopping Tarec Saffiedine with punches.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

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Where is fancy bred, in the heart or in the head?

Keep it easy M.Rmy. See you tomorrow.

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If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.