NEW YORK — Bruce Buffer threw a rope-a-dope at the UFC crowd Saturday night, first announcing in the octagon that Tyron Woodley had defeated Stephen Thompson by split decision before minutes later correcting himself and saying it was a majority draw.
That change had Woodley thinking the worst.
“When they said (there was a correction), I looked over like, hell no, I’m not about to give my belt away,” the UFC welterweight champion said in the post-fight press conference at Madison Square Garden. “I just felt real confident I won the fight. I was just kind of bummed that it was a draw, because I thought I clearly won the fight.”
Thompson also believed he won the fight, showing just close it was. But a majority draw meant Woodley kept his belt, albeit with what most fighters believe is a blemish on a record.
UFC president Dana White explained how Buffer’s Steve Harvey-esque moment went down.
“I think the (New York State Athletic Commission) was trying to be correct. They were adding the scores again,” White said when asked why Buffer left the octagon to confer with judges, then still announced the wrong verdict. “I don’t know if somebody started to add something that was wrong, or whatever the deal was. They messed it up. They just wanted to make sure they were right, so we had to come in and do (the announcement) again.
“It would have been a major, major screw-up, if it was the other way around, like we had to say, ‘Oops, you didn’t win, he won,’ and switched the belts. That would’ve been real bad, so it worked out all right.”
A Woodley-Thompson rematch would work out all right, too.
Thumbnail photo via John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Images