UFC should book Demian Maia on the UFC 209 card for injury cover

Tyron Woodley faces Stephen Thompson in a rematch for the welterweight title in the main event

BY Simon Maguire 19:25 Friday 13 January 2017, 19:25 13 Jan 2017

Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson. Image: ©INPHO/Tom Hogan

The UFC 209 card is shaping up nicely now that welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has signed to face Stephen Thompson in a title fight rematch.

The pair battled to a majority draw at UFC 205 in the co-main event at Madison Square Garden, where Woodley held onto his belt after a pulsating bout ended in stalemate.

Woodley came close to finishing the fight on a number of occasions but "Wonderboy" Thompson was equally impressive when fighting from range, and the judges came to the conclusion that neither fighter was a worthy winner.

The result is that the pair will do it again on in the main event in March. This leaves top contender Demian Maia out in the cold, for the moment.

The Brazilian has rattled off six straight wins, including impressive performances against Gunnar Nelson, Matt Brown and Carlos Condit. He hasn't fought since August.

But the smart move would be for the UFC to book Maia on the card in case either fighter in the main event gets injured, meaning he will be able to step in on short notice, but with a full camp behind him.

A bout with former champion Robbie Lawler would be an interesting match-up, given he hasn't fought since losing his title via knock-out to Woodley in July.

Lawler recently left his camp at American Top Team in Florida, and is yet to announce where he will be setting up for his next bout in the UFC. 

Elsewhere on the card, Khabib Nurmagomedov will face off against Tony Ferguson to decide the number one contender to Conor McGregor's lightweight title.

The Irishman is taking time away from the sport as he awaits the birth of his first child, and will be a very interested spectator as the two do battle. 


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