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UFC 209: Pros predict Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson 2

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UFC 209 Media Day Photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Four months after the hysteria of Madison Square Garden, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and challenger Stephen Thompson will finally settle the rivalry that has consumed the 170-pound division when they square off in a rematch on March 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada at UFC 209.

Last time out, Woodley and “Wonderboy” fought to a controversial majority draw in one of the best fights of 2016. Who will make the necessary adjustments and emerge victorious in the rematch? We asked a small sampling of the fighters in town for UFC 209 what they thought about Saturday night’s main event.

Paul Craig: “That first fight was a fantastic fight. Such interesting stuff. I want Wonderboy to do it this time. I want Wonderboy to do it. I just like his style. It’s exciting. You never know, the way he destroyed Johny Hendricks, nobody had ever done that to him before, slogging it out. So yeah, I’m with Wonderboy, just because he’s exciting.”

Daniel Kelly: “I think Thompson’s got him this time. I think he’ll make some small adjustments. Look, Tyron Woodley is awesome, really explosive. But Thompson is very, very clever and very tactical, and he’ll play the range game very, very well.”

Tyson Pedro: “I’m so excited for that fight. I like Woodley for the main event. I do like Thompson’s style, but I just think Woodley might catch that knockout this time if he does what he did in the first fight.”

Lando Vannata: “Thompson, hands down. I just think he’s the better fighter, especially stylistically-wise.”

Din Thomas: “Generally, it’s going to be the same, because these guys have been doing what they do for the majority of their life. They’re not changing that much in five months. But, small details can make big differences, so there could be some small things that change that could make big differences.

“I just think that certain things are going to hard to overcome in five months. Like, you’re never going to overcome Tyron’s speed. You’ve never going to overcome his strength in five months, I don’t care what you do. So yeah, I think Stephen Thompson, he’s got a long uphill battle to try and overcome those things.”