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Immediate rematch between Tyron Woodley, Stephen Thompson seems likely

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

NEW YORK – Demian Maia may be waiting a bit longer for his title shot in the welterweight division.

On Saturday night, after challenger Stephen Thompson and current 170-pound champion Tyron Woodley fought to a majority draw in their Fight of the Night at UFC 205, the urge to do an immediate rematch swept through Madison Square Garden.

More importantly, UFC president Dana White said he wants to see the two fight again. When asked about the co-main in the UFC 205 post-fight press conference, White didn't mince words.

"You rematch, man," he said. "I think that it was a draw and the fight was ridiculous. It was the fight of the night. Let’s do it again."

The fight was a back-and-forth affair in which Woodley clearly won the first round, and Thompson found his rhythm in the second. The third was close — so close that it could have gone either way — while the fourth belonged to Woodley. That particular round was considered a 10-8 on one scorecard.

Woodley said he would leave the decision up to the UFC as to whom he would defend his title against next. "Wonderboy" Thompson said he would only be interested in a rematch. That would mean the odd man out would be the 39-year old Maia, who's won six fights in a row including a first-round destruction of Carlos Condit in August.

White said that Maia would have some options if the UFC opted to run back Thompson and Woodley.

"Demian Maia is right there, man," White said. "He’ll get the next shot. If he wants to fight somebody else or whatever. I don’t know. Again, it’s the night of the fights. I hate to make fights on the night of the fights, but that one makes sense. I think it makes sense."

There was a moment of confusion when the scorecards were read before the sold out crowd at MSG. At first Woodley was declared a majority decision winner, which was clearly wrong with the scores being 47-47, 47-47, 48-47. The correct verdict was brought in to boos, though it was really just a slip in semantics.

The end was a majority draw, meaning Woodley keeps his belt.

"They were really trying to make sure those scores were totaled right," White said of the confusion. "And, you don’t want to mess that up. And even when we came back you could tell Tyron thought we were going to say, ‘oops, Wonderboy won.’ But it was a draw. And when you look at that fight…I actually had it even going into the fifth round. My opinion doesn’t mean shit, so."

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